Common Bee Wasp - Nomada ruficornis

Description

Compared to the females the males are considerably smaller and much hairier. It is a good wasp mimic, and usually has blotches of red on the abdomen.

Similar Species

Can be similar to N. panzeri but distinguished by its bifid mandible.

Habitat

Meadows and hedgerows.

When to see it

April to June.

Life History

Though looking like a wasp, this is in fact a bee which parasitizes mining bees by laying its eggs in their burrows. The Bee Wasp larvae eat the larvae of the host bee. This species of Bee Wasp often targets Andrena haemorrhoa.

UK Status

Fairly frequent and widespread in Britain, with most records coming from England.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map