Mimumesa spooneri (Richards,1948)


The species is limited principally to two areas: from Weymouth to Poole, and NW Surrey to West Sussex. There are old literature records from Norfolk and Suffolk. Falk (1991) dismisses old records for Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire as erroneous.

Overseas, the species is very rare in Scandinavia and is sporadic in Central Europe (Lomholdt 1984).

Status (in Britain only)

Listed in Shirt (1987) and by Falk (1991) as being Rare (RDB3).


This wasp appears to be confined mainly to lowland heaths, especially damp heathland (Else and Felton 1994). Has been seen searching small clumps of rush in damp sand (M Edwards, pers. comm.).

Flight period

Richards (1980) gives June to September, with the majority of records gathered in Britain coming from July and August.

Prey collected

Falk speculates about the collection of small cicadas, in keeping with other members of this genus, but no firm data are available. Further research is clearly needed.

Nesting biology

Even by 1994, Else and Felton had to report that nothing was known about the nesting habits of this species - clearly a fundamental gap in our knowledge, especially if its future conservation is to be assured. Falk summarises early speculation about the use of dead wood and apparent avoidance of open sandy areas, with Spooner himself suggesting that the wasp utilises cavities or crevices among dead plant remains.

Flowers visited

Else and Felton record a single observation from the specimens in The Natural History Museum, London which was of a specimen taken from wild parsnip flowers.

Parasitic biology

No information available.

Author of profile

A Knowles.

Year profile last updated