Spined Mason Bee - Osmia spinulosa

Alt Name
Hoplitis spinulosa
Description

The taxonomy of Osmia spinulosa has been the subject of considerable debate. Recent genetic work carried out in Switzerland by Mueller, shows that this taxon should correctly be placed within the genus Osmiaÿrather than left within Hoplitis.

Habitat

It is found in a range of open neutral or calcareous grassland habitats, provided that there are plenty of Asteraceae flowering and a degree of litter build-up around tussocks. This is where the snails, whose shells provide the nest site, live out their lives. Hay-cut and hard-grazed grasslands are not suitable for this bee.

When to see it

From mid May to late September.

Life History

Nests are made within medium sized old snail shells, such as those of Cepea nemoralis. The cells are made within the spiral from chewed plant material.

UK Status

Widespread mainly south of a line from The Wash through to South Wales, although not always frequently found even in these areas.

VC55 Status

Rare or under recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. The record from Ketton Quarry on 19th Aug 2015 is believed to be the first for VC55.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map