Hedychrum niemelai Linsenmaier,1959

Synonyms

Hedychrum aureicolle ssp. niemelai LINSENMAIER 1959

 

Description and notes

Previously known as Hedychrum nobile, a misidentification, and H. aureicolle Mocsary. Identification keys and general biology are given in Morgan (1984), Falk (1991) and Kunz (1994).

A very similar species - Hedychrum nobile - was recently discovered in Britain. The separation of H. niemelai and H. nobile is described in this paper

Distribution

Recorded from Cornwall to Kent and north to Oxfordshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire. Also found in Jersey.

Overseas found in Europe (including Norway, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, France including Corsica, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Italy including Sicily, Poland, Austria, Hungary,and the former Yugoslavia), Asia (Turkey across to Siberia and Manchuria) and north Africa (Morocco).

Status (in Britain only)

Not listed in Shirt (1987). Falk (1991) lists it as Rare (pRDB3).  Work for this atlas suggests that its status requires review.

Habitat

Open sandy localities: lowland heaths, coastal dunes, cliffs with sandy deposits, and other disturbed locations, for example sandpits, footpaths and railway cuttings. Adults fly in bright sunshine around nesting sites of the hosts and feed at the nectaries and extra-floral nectaries of flowering plants.

Flight period

Probably univoltine; mainly during July and August, but also during June and September and rarely during May.

Flowers visited

Clary (Salvia spp.) goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea), woundwort (Stachys spp.), and yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Parasites

No information available.

Parasitic biology

The hosts of this species are Cerceris ruficornis, C. arenaria, C. rybyensis and C. quinquefasciata (Morgan 1984; Edwards 1997). 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.

Author of profile

M E Archer.