Osmia spinolae LEPELETIER 1841; Osmia marginella LEPELETIER 1841; Osmia aduncoides STRAND 1910
Description and notes
A widespread species across southern, eastern and central Europe and north Africa, north to 60 degrees, and eastwards to central Asia (Müller, A., 2016).
Status (in Britain only)
Not included in any current UK keys. However, continental works that cover the identification include Amiet et al. (2004); Banaszak and Romasenko (2001)
Found in a range of dry habitats which have an abundance of suitable nest sites: gravel pits, derelict vineyard terraces, man made habitats (eg botanic gardens) and dry warm waste places (Westrich, 1989), temperate grasslands and forests (or forest edge) (Lhomme, P. 2014).
A univoltine species. Mid June to the end of July. In favourable years the species can persist into September. The British specimens were found from mid-June to the end of July.
Strongly oligolectic on Echium species (Boraginaceae)(Müller, A., unpublished, based on 29 pollen samples from 19 different localities and on field observations). Ivanov et al (2005) state that the species is monolectic on Echium, which is clearly an error of understanding.
The species nests in existing cavities in old beetle galleries in dead wood,empty snail shells, in hollow plant stems, and in old nest burrows of various aculeates (Colletes, Megachile parietina, Anthophora, Odynerus) and in the old cocoons of Osmia mustelina. The species readily takes to artificial nest sites, such as cut bamboo stems, and wood borings and the British specimens were seen at drilled wooden nesting blocks. The thick cell partitions and the nest closure are made of earth, sand and clay cemented together with saliva. (Westrich, 1989). The nesting cell partitions and nest plug made of mud. The outer surface of the nest plug is often covered with wood fibres, sand, dust etc. (Westrich, 1989).
Westrich (1989) lists: Echium vulgare, Echium italicum, Echium plantagineum (all Boraginaceae).
The bees Stelis punctulatissima and Dioxys tridentata are cited as cleptoparasites of this species in mainland Europe (Westrich, 1989).
Banaszak & Romasenko (1998) list the following as parasites or cleptoparasites: Stelis punctulatissima, Dioxys (as Dioxoides) tridentata, Dioxys cinctus (Apidae; Megachilinae); Chrysis pustulosa, Chrysis austriaca, Chrysis sexdentata (Chrysididae); Leucospis dorsigera (Leucospidae); Eurytoma nodularis (Eurytomidae), Neochalcis osmicida (Chalcididae); Melittobia acasta (Eulophidae).
Year profile last updated