Mimesa bruxellensis Bondroit,1934

Synonyms

Psen rossicus GOSSAKOVSKIJ 1937

Description and notes

A small, ground-nesting red and black solitary wasp. Identification keys are given in Richards (1980), Lomholt (1984) and Yeo & Corbet (1995).

Distribution

Widely recorded from scattered localities in southern Britain north to south Lancashire.

Overseas, recorded throughout Europe eastwards to the Ukraine (Wolf 1972).

Status (in Britain only)

Not listed in Shirt (1978), but given as Notable A by Falk (1991) and thought to be restricted to very few sites. The number of modern records suggest the status of this species may need review.

Habitat

Found in a range of open habitats with light soils such as heathland, open woodland, dry grassland and coastal dunes.

Flight period

Univoltine; June to September, though with the peak flight period in July and August (Falk 1991).

 

Prey collected

Nest burrows are stocked with a range of small homopteran bugs, usually leafhoppers of the family Cicadellidae (see Guichard 1972). Some prey species are associated with woodland and tree or scrub foliage, so the presence of broadleaved woodland or established scrub may be important for this species. There is a strong association with leafhoppers found on aspen (D. Baldock, pers. comm.).

Nesting biology

Nests are dug in light soil in warm situations. Nests have been found at the base of grass clumps or sometimes beneath leaf litter, so some shelter may be advantageous. Nests consist of a single burrow, 10-12cm in length, often occurring in small aggregations (Guichard 1972).

Flowers visited

Only wild parsnip has been recorded.

Parasites

None recorded from Britain.

Author of profile

M Smith.

Year profile last updated

2005