Crossocerus palmipes (Linnaeus,1767)


Crabro decoratus (SMITH,1856); Crabro gracilis (EVERSMANN,1849); Crossocerus ornatus LEPELETIER & BRULLÉ,1835; Sphex palmarius (SCHREBER,1784); Crabro scutatus (FABRICIUS,1787); Crabro scutellaris (GIMMERTHAL,1836)

Description and notes

A small black solitary wasp. Identification keys are given in Yeo & Corbet (1995), Lomholdt (1984) and Richards (1980).


Local in England, mainly in the south and east. Richards (1980) adds Isle of Man and Dumfries, but these records cannot be traced.

Overseas, recorded from Europe, Central Asia and North China.

Status (in Britain only)

Listed as Notable B in Falk (1991) (now known as Nationally Scarce Nb).


Has been recorded from a variety of habitats including gravel pits and sandy sites.

Flight period

Univoltine; on the wing between June and September (Richards, 1980).

Prey collected

Nest burrows are stocked with small flies from families including Dolichopodidae, Chloropidae and Lauxaniidae.

Nesting biology

Nests are constructed in the ground in light sandy soil, each burrow terminates in a single cell (Lomholdt, 1984).

Flowers visited

No data available.


None recorded. Abroad, the mutillid wasp Myrmosa atra Panzer [as melanocephala] has been suggested as a possible parasite (Lomholdt, 1984).

Author of profile

M N Smith.

Year profile last updated