Mimesa equestris (Fabricius,1804)

Synonyms

Mimesa bicolor misident.

Description and notes

A small, ground-nesting red and black solitary wasp. Identification keys are given in Yeo & Corbet (1995) and Richards (1980) (both as Psen equestris) and Lomholt (1984).

Distribution

Widely recorded from scattered localities throughout Britain north to Inverness-shire.

Overseas found widely distributed throughout the Palaearctic region. 

Status (in Britain only)

This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.

Habitat

Recorded from a range of habitats, though there may be a preference for light or sandy soils.

Flight period

July to October. Richards (1980) suggests there may be two broods, and M Edwards (pers. comm.) confirms this.

Prey collected

Nest burrows are stocked with a range of small homopteran bugs, usually leafhoppers of the family Cicadellidae.

Nesting biology

Nests are dug in sandy soil and the species can usually be found nesting in aggregations, often on flat ground. Nests consist of a single vertical burrow descending up to 50cm into the ground; individual cells are constructed off the main burrow in the lower part of the nest (Lomholdt 1984).

Flowers visited

None recorded for this species.

Parasites

Richards (1980) and M Edwards (pers. comm.) agree that this species acts as a host for the mutillid wasp, Myrmosa atra.

Author of profile

M Smith.

Year profile last updated

2005