Crossocerus leucostomus (Linnaeus,1758)


Crabro carbonarius (DAHLBOM,1838); Blepharipus cinctipes (PROVANCHER,1882); Stenocrabro cinctitarsis (ASHMEAD,1901); Blepharipus columbiae (BRADLEY,1906); Crabro melanarius (WESMAEL,1852); Crabro niger (PROVANCHER,1888); Crabro nigror (FOX,1895); Crabro rugosus (HERRICH-SCHÄFFER,1841); Crabro servus (DALLA TORRE,1897); Thyreopus stygius (MICKEL,1916); Thyreopus utensis (MICKEL,1916)

Description and notes

A small black solitary wasp nesting in cavities in dead timber. Identification keys are given in Yeo & Corbet (1995), Lomholdt (1984) and Richards (1980). In older literature this species was referred to as Crabro carbonarius (Dahlbom), with the name C. leucostomus or C. leucostomoides being applied to the much more common Crossocerus megacephalus, so care is needed when citing older records of this wasp.


A northern species, recorded from Scotland and northern England south to Yorkshire (Archer 2002). Overseas found widely distributed throughout northern and central Europe, Central Asia and Japan.

Status (in Britain only)

Listed as Rare (RDB 3) in Shirt (1987), provisionally downgraded to Notable A (now known as Nationally Scarce Na) by Falk (1991).


In the UK mainly associated with native pine woods in the Spey Valley, though the species has been recorded some distance from any pine trees.

Flight period

Univoltine; May to August (Richards 1980).

Prey collected

Nest burrows are stocked with a range of small Diptera.

Nesting biology

Nests are constructed in dead wood in warm, sunny situations. In the UK the species has been recorded nesting in the fallen trunks of scots pines (Falk 1991, G R Else, pers. comm.); in Scandinavia the species has also been recorded nesting in birch and spruce. This wasp often makes use of old larval galleries of beetles such as Scolytus. Nest burrows are 3-6 cm long, terminating in a single cell. The nest tunnel is closed with wood dust (Lomholdt 1984).

Flowers visited

None recorded.


None recorded.

Author of profile

M N Smith.

Year profile last updated