Ornate Tailed Digger Wasp - Cerceris rybyensis


A black and yellow banded species which is similar to several others.  Care is needed with identification.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


Commonly associated with sandy soils, both on the coast and inland.  It may also be associated with chalk grassland and heavier soils.

When to see it

Apparently single-brooded; late June to early September.

Life History

The prey consists of small and medium-sized bees of various genera, which are paralysed by stinging. Females of this wasp frequently nest in quite dense aggregations, usually on level, exposed compacted soil. For example, sites have included an unsurfaced road and an abandoned sand quarry in Dorset, and soil between the paving stones of a patio in Greater London. The nest consists of a deep (10 to 15 cm) burrow, from which short lateral burrows branch off and terminate in single cells.

UK Status

Often locally common in southern England, though, surprisingly, there appear to be no confirmed records from Wales.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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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