Nomada flava

Description

Nomada species are cuckoo bees, laying their eggs in the nests of other species - usually Andrena bees.

Wing length: 7.5-10mm. N. flava has a yellow abdomen crossed by broad black stripes and with red patches at the front end. Females have red stripes on the thorax and two prominent red tubercles. In males the thorax is all black but with orangy hairs. The legs and antennae are orange-red.

Similar Species

N.panzeri occasionally shows the same abdomen pattern. To be certain of distinguishing them, it is necessary to key a specimen with a binocular microscope.

Identification difficulty
ID checklist (your specimen should have all of these features)

Males and females are different and need to be keyed separately.

Male Nomada flava have the following features:

  • hairs on the underside of the middle femora are approx. half as long as the max femora width
  • mandibles have pointed tips
  • thorax is all black with pale orange/brown hairs (occasionally there may be a pair of red spots)
  • yellow on the lower face extends at least half way up the eye margins
  • antennae pale red below (front facing when raised) and dark above
Recording advice

Most solitary bees and wasps are difficult to identify, and many cannot be identified from photos taken in the field.  All records of red-rated species should include a photo or set of photos of the specimen, illustrating the key characters taken from a standard key, which should also be referenced (e.g. ‘Falk, 2015’).  The notes should state the size, whether male or female, and explain how the specimen met the key characters.  Although we can't guarantee to identify the species even if these reference photos are provided, the photos will be stored with the record and may allow it be identified in future.   Alternatively, records can be accepted if identified by a recognised local or national expert, or that have been identified via the BWARS’ facebook . If you have obtained this advice, please note the name of the person (and the organisation where relevant) in the ‘determiner’ field (e.g ‘Stuart Roberts, BWARS facebook’).

Habitat

Hedgerows.

When to see it

April to June.

Life History

Parasitises nest of several Andrena species. Like all bees, the adults feed on pollen and nectar.

UK Status

Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Flavous Nomad Bee
Species group:
Bees, Wasps, Ants
Kingdom:
Animalia
Order:
Hymenoptera
Family:
Apidae
Records on NatureSpot:
27
First record:
05/05/2008 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
18/05/2023 (Dejardin, Andrew)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

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