Cilissa robusta RADOSZKOWSKI 1896
The first British specimen of this bee was collected near Tilshead, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, on 9 July 1949 by the late P W E Currie. However, about fifteen years were to elapse before its identity was established by D B Baker and the record published as Pseudocilissa dimidiata (Baker, 1964).
Known mainly from scattered sites on the three principal Army Ranges on Salisbury Plain (Imber, Larkhill, Bulford). A female of this species was also found on Walkers Hill, on the Pewsey Downs NNR. (to the north of the Plain) by G R Else and S P M Roberts on 19 July 1994. The bee also formerly occurred in a very restricted site at Easton Royal, in the Vale of Pewsey, where it was first found by K M Guichard in 1972. It apparently became extinct there about 1990, possibly as a result of overgrazing of the forage plant by rabbits, or of spray drift from adjacent farmland. The distribution and habits of this bee in Wiltshire have been described by Else & Roberts (1994). This is a central and southern European species whose range extends to western Russia. Baker (1964) provides a distribution map, although this does not include Spain (confirmed examples from that country are present in The Natural History Museum, London).