Sunday, 29 June 2014

Nomada Bee sp

Not certain which species of Nomada this is, images taken in my garden today.

Scientific name:  Nomada sp.
Size:  Up to 10mm
Distribution:  Found in most parts of Britain, especially southern England
Months seen:  April to July
Habitat:  Meadows, parks, gardens and hedgerows.
Food:  Nectar and pollen
Special features:  Nomad bees are very wasp-like in appearance.  The abdomen is almost hairless and the wings have a red-brown tinge.

Nomad bees lay their eggs in the nests of other bee species, especially Andrena sp.  This particular type of insect is known as a 'cleptoparasite', because it obtains nourishment from the body of the Andrena eggs, and it also steals the Andrena larvae food supply.

There are around 30 species of Nomad Bee in the UK, all similar in appearance.  They include; Nomada fulvicornis, Nomada ruficornis, Nomada hirtipes, Nomada flava, Nomada marshamella, Nomada ferruginata, Nomada flavopicta, Nomada lathburiana, Nomada goodeniana and Nomada pleurosticta.