Sapyga quinquepunctata

Description

The quinquepunctata part of the scientific name probably refers to the white spotting on the tergites. The species is sexually dimorphic the males being mainly black other than the white spots mentioned above, but the females have a broad red band across the abdomen.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Found in a wide variety of open habitats: woodland and shrubland, lowland heaths, chalk quarries, coastal cliffs, gardens and cemeteries. Often found flying around the nest sites of its hosts.

When to see it

Univoltine. Males are found during May and June, and rarely in July. Females occur mainly during June, often during May and July, or more rarely in April and August.

Life History

Cleptoparasitic on bees of the genus Osmia. The female enters the nest of the host and lays an egg on or near the egg of the host. On hatching, the first instar larva, which has large mandibles, eats the egg of the host. Later instars have smaller mandibles and feed on the stored food of the host.

UK Status

In the UK, it has a largely southern distribution, but occurs in scattered localities as far north as Yorkshire.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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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