Odynerus melanocephalus (Gmelin,1790)

Description and notes

See Odynerus spinipes for literature on this species.


The species has been recorded from Devon to Kent and northwards to Northamptonshire.

Status (in Britain only)

Listed in Falk (1991) as Nationally Notable (Na).


Open situations on light clayey soils. Grasslands, heathlands, soft rock cliffs, landslips and saltmarsh margins. Also disturbed situations such as brick pits, sand pits and railway embankments.

Flight period

Adults are most likely to be seen during June but have also been seen in late May and July and more rarely in early August.

Prey collected

The cells of O. melanocephalus have been observed to be provisioned with weevil larvae and small lepidopterous caterpillars.

Nesting biology

The nesting areas of O. melanocephalus are usually on level, exposed soil with a clay content. The burrow entrance has an associated 'chimney' which is rather short, being about 1cm long. See Odynerus spinipes for further details of nesting biology.

Flowers visited

Wild carrot, clover and speedwell.

Author of profile

M E Archer.

Year profile last updated