Monosapyga clavicornis (Linnaeus,1758)

Description and notes

Identification keys and general biology are given in Malyshev (1968), Richards (1980), Gauld & Bolton (1988), Falk (1991) and Yeo & Corbet (1995).


There are widely scattered records from Cornwall to Kent and north to North-west Yorkshire. Not found on the Channel Islands or in Ireland.

Overseas, found in many parts of Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy), North Africa and Asia (Turkey, Caucasus).

Status (in Britain only)

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


Found around dead wood such as posts, old trees and stumps in sunny situations, which are the nesting sites of its hosts (see below). Recorded from a wide variety of habitats: lowland heaths and sandy places, river margins, limestone grasslands, clay woodlands, fenland, parkland, coastal areas and gardens.

Flight period

Probably univoltine ; adults most likely to be seen during June, and sometimes in May and July.

Flowers visited

No information available


No information available.

Parasitic biology

The hosts of this wasp are the bees Chelostoma florisomne and species of Osmia. The female introduces her egg into the cell of the host with the aid of the ovipositor, which is not exclusively used as a sting (as in most other aculeates). On hatching the first instar larva has large mandibles, and despite being apodous, is active and proceeds to eat the host's egg. Then it moults into the next larval instar which has smaller mandibles, and proceeds to feed on the host's provisions. It is thus a 'secondary cleptoparasite' (Gauld & Bolton, 1988).

Author of profile

M E Archer

Year profile last updated