Hedychrum niemelai

Alternative names
Hedychrum aureicolle
Description

A spectacular species with metallic reds and blue-greens. The female has red thorax, the male thorax is blue-green.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Open sandy localities: lowland heaths, coastal dunes, cliffs with sandy deposits, and other disturbed locations, for exampleÿsandpits, footpaths and railway cuttings.

When to see it

Mainly to be seen during July and August, but also during June and September and rarely during May. Adults fly in bright sunshine around nesting sites ofÿthe hosts and feed at the nectariesÿand extra floral nectaries of flowering plants.

Life History

The hosts of this species are Cerceris ruficornis, Cerceris arenaria, Cerceris rybyensis and Cerceris quinquefasciata. All the host species nest in sandy places. On detecting a host's nest the female enters and lays an egg in a cell. On hatching the chrysidid larva acts as a parasitoid consuming either the mature larva or prepupa of the host.

UK Status

Recorded from Cornwall to Kent and north to Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.

VC55 Status

Rare or under recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. The Asfordby Hill record of 7th August 2015 is the first for VC55.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

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

UK Map