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