Smicromyrme rufipes (Fabricius, 1787)

Description and notes

Identification keys and general biology are given in Richards (1980), Gauld & Bolton (1988) and Yeo & Corbet (1995). Females are wingless, but males are fully-winged.


In England from Dorset to Kent, including the Isle of Wight, and north to Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. Also the Channel Islands.

Overseas, found in many parts of mainland Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Hungary).

Status (in Britain only)

A Nationally Notable (Nb) species (Falk 1991).


Open sandy areas in warm, sunny situations both on the coast, for example sand dunes, and inland, for example heathland and sand pits.

Flowers visited

Males have been found on umbellifers and ragworts.


No information available.

Adult activity period

Probably univoltine; adults are found mainly during July and August, sometimes in June, and rarely in May and September.

Parasitic biology

A parasitoid of a wide variety of ground nesting wasps and bees including crabronid and pompilid wasps and halictine bees. The female enters the burrow of its host and bites open a cell. If the host's larva is immature she closes the cell and leaves. However if a mature larva is present she inserts her gaster into the cell and lays an egg. The host is not stung. The wasp larva is an ectoparasite on the larva or pupa of its host. On reaching maturity, the parasite spins a cocoon within that of its host.

Author of profile

M E Archer.

Year profile last updated