Nomada leucophthalma - Nomada leucophthalma

Description

This is a large cuckoo bee (12 mm) with dark red, orange-tipped antennae (instead of just orange in the case of Nomada flava) and dark legs. It has a yellow and black striped abdomen with a red band at the front. It also has a thick pile of orange hair on the mesonotum.

Similar Species

It is similar to N. flava and others, but the dark antenna and legs plus the early flying season help to distinguish this N. leocophthalma.

Habitat

It favours hedgerows and meadows, where it searches for the nest holes of Andrena clarkella in which to lay its eggs, and feeds on nectar from flowers such as Colt's-foot.

When to see it

The adult is on the wing early in the year - from March to May.

Life History

It is a parasite of the small bee Andrena clarkella.

UK Status

Fairly frequent and widespread in southern Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map