Epeolus cruciger (Panzer,1799)


Epeolus rufipes THOMSON 1870; Epeolus similis HÖPPNER 1899; Epeolus laevifrons BISCHOFF 1930; Epeolus marginatus BISCHOFF 1930

Description and notes


Widely distributed throughout much of southern and central Britain (becoming scarcer in the northern part of its range) and locally common, at least in many southern sites. It is also known from Jersey (Grosnez Point, 1989, M E Archer, pers. comm.). There is a specimen collected on 8th July, 1899 at Irvine Moor, Ayr, in The Natural History Museum, London, which may be this species, but it is in too poor a condition to be certain. The species has not been found in Ireland. Widespread in Europe, occurring as far north as central Finland.

Status (in Britain only)

This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.


Inland heaths (where it is often common) and moors; also coastal sand dunes and undercliffs.

Flight period

Univoltine; end of June to late September. A small form associating with Colletes marginatus flies earlier in the season, in June and July.

Pollen collected

This is a cleptoparasitic species, so no pollen is gathered.

Nesting biology

A cleptoparasite of Colletes succinctus and C. marginatus. The form attacking C. marginatus is generally smaller than that associating with C. succinctus, and may be specifically destinct. Richards (1937) additionally lists C. fodiens as a host, but this requires confirmation.

Flowers visited

Nectar sources include clover (Trifolium spp.), a hawkbit (Leontodon sp.), heather (Calluna vulgaris), a mint (Mentha sp.), ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) and sheep’s-bit (Jasione montana).


None reported.

Author of profile

G R Else

Year profile last updated

Profile written: 2002

Proofed: February 2012