Ectemnius cephalotes


Ectemnius cephalotes is quite a large species of digger wasp (length 15 mm) and has the familiar black and yellow colouring with an almost glossy body.

Identification difficulty

Woodland, copses and other well wooded areas, it can however also be found in open countryside especially near to dead wood, or on umbellifer flowers.

When to see it

June to early October.

Life History

Ectemnius cephalotes do not dig in sand but in soft wood instead. A nest may have one main entrance with several females using it. They bore lateral tunnels with separate cells capable of containing up to a dozen prey items apiece. The males, as usual, are smaller and play no part in breeding once mating has occurred.

UK Status

Widely distributed in England and Wales, and fairly frequent in many areas. Rare in Scotland.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map