Hypoponera eduardi is a small brown ant with a functioning sting, a single substantial petiole and a constriction between the first and second segments of the gaster. It is an underground species with both winged and wingless males; gynes can be either alate and gyne-like or worker-like. This species is known from northern France and has recently been recorded from the Isle of Wight, Guernsey and London Zoo
Recorded from the Isle of Wight, Guernsey and London
Primarily a Mediteranean species but found in much of Europe. It is a tramp species and has been recorded in many parts of the world.
Status (in Britain only):
This species is not regarded as scarce or threatened.
Seifert (2018) gives a method of separating the species including a measurment of the head width and scape length. Scapes are longer compared to H. punctissama and H. ergatandria. For Head width, HW and Scape length, SL: If SL/HW > 0.87 you have H. eduardi
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Sphecodes albilabris is a large (body length 11-15 mm) solitary parasitic bee that is endemic to Central and Western Europe. It also occurs in North Africa and is thought to have been introduced to the United States and Australia by accident.
This cleptoparasitic species has only recently been found in the UK when it was discovered in Britain in 2020 (Layham, Suffolk). In 2022 S. albilabris was recorded in Oxon, suggesting it is spreading at a fast rate.
Abroad, it is found in association with its host, which is spread widely in continental Europe.
Status (in Britain only):
It is too recently discovered to have been accorded scarcity or rarity status.
The largest British Sphecodes by some margin (body length 11-15 mm). It is also the only one with the red markings extending to the tip of the abdomen, though the final tergite of the male can be dusky. It is a robustly-built, densely-punctured (and therefore rather dull-looking) species with the lower face noticeably produced. The male antennae are not especially long and the individual flagellar segments are bulbous. The male genitalia has claspers that resemble those of S. puncticeps in shape.
Found in the same habitats as its host, sandy areas with sallows and willows growing in abundance.
Univoltine. Females are flying from March to August, males from July to October
As this bee is a cleptoparasite no pollen is collected.
A cleptoparasite of Colletes cunicularius; no information is available on the parasitic behaviour in the UK. In southern Sweden, the female parasite has been seen entering and leaving the nest burrows of its host in a disused sand quarry (GWA, pers. obs.).
This includes a variety of Asteraceae including Hemp Agrimony, Creeping Thistle, and goldenrods; also sea hollies.