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NBIS Carder Bee, Hornet and Hoverfly Survey 2012
Two of the insects in our NBIS survey, the European hornet, Vespa crabro and the wool carder bee, Anthidium manicatum, belong to the hymenoptera, a large insect order which also includes wasps, ants, bees, ichneumons and saw-flies. Our third survey species, the hoverfly Leucozona lucorum, is a member of the diptera (flies).
They all have a fascinating biology and are probably quite widespread in Norfolk although we don’t know for sure, as we don’t have many records on the NBIS database.
They all play an important role in the natural fabric of our countryside and your records will contribute to our overall knowledge of Norfolk’s biodiversity so that we can help safeguard and enhance it.
IF YOU HAVE SEEN ANY OF THESE 3 SPECIES PLEASE USE OUR ONLINE RECORDING FORM (LINKS BELOW) TO TELL US ABOUT YOUR SIGHTING(S).
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EACH OF THESE SPECIES SEE DETAILS BELOW THE ONLINE RECORDING FORM LINKS.
HAVE YOU SPOTTED ANY OF THESE 3 SPECIES?
The easiest way to send us information about the species you have seen is via our online form. Please select one of the three options below to send us your record(s):
(e.g. more than 20 records; including records of more than one species,
at more than one location and on several different dates
- please send as excel spreadsheet where possible using our template)
DOWNLOAD THE NBIS RECORDING SPREADSHEET HERE AND THEN CLICK ABOVE TO EMAIL US YOUR RECORDS
(or email email@example.com)
..........Some basic information:
European hornet (Vespa crabro)
♦Description: A spectacular large yellow and brown social wasp up to 35mm in length (queens can be up to 50mm long). Although often viewed with trepidation, hornets are rarely aggressive and will sting only if provoked. Adult hornets feed on sugary foods such as nectar and fruits. They feed their larvae on paralysed insects.
♦Where to look: Woodlands, parks and gardens from May to November. Unlike wasps, hornets fly after dark and are attracted to lights. You may see them on warm nights.
Wool carder bee (Anthidium manicatum)
♦Description: A striking black and yellow species easily recognised by the golden spots on either side of the abdomen with a wingspan of 20mm and body length of up to 13mm (females) and 17mm (males). Males patrol a territory of flowers (eg. woundworts, deadnettle, foxgloves and toadflax), darting at other insect intruders that stray close, even grappling them to the ground. Females are allowed access to the territory where they can feed on the flowers. Females “card” the down from hairy plants such as lamb’s ears to use as a nest lining material.
♦Where to look: gardens, fields and meadows between May and September.
♦Description: A striking and distinctive hoverfly with a white band across the body and black wing patches and body length of 12–15mm. The scutellum (the triangular plate on the top of the insect, near where the wings attach) is orangey brown (not black). Hoverflies have a swift, darting flight in addition to their remarkable hovering ability. The adults feed on nectar and pollen. If you can, please send us a picture of the Leucozona lucorum you spotted.
♦Where to look: Dappled sunshine in woodland rides and edges, gardens, roadside verges and hedgerows, often near plants of red campion (Silene dioica) and stitchwort (Stellaria holostea) from
Did you know?
• The insects described in this leaflet are not naturally aggressive;
• They are beneficial to gardeners, assisting with pollination;
• There is a national society dedicated to studying and recording bees, wasps and ants (aculeate hymenoptera) in Britain and Ireland— www.bwars.com
• Find out more about diptera at www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/