Norwichnaturalist's picture

Mining Bee Melecta albifrons

Observed: 8th April 2010 By: Norwichnaturalist
Wild Flower Society
Norwichnaturalist’s reputation in InvertebratesNorwichnaturalist’s reputation in InvertebratesNorwichnaturalist’s reputation in Invertebrates
Anthophora plumipes (Female)
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which a solitary bee (Melecta albifrons) interacts


Martin Harvey's picture

Melecta albifrons

This does look a bit like female Anthophora plumipes, but in fact the white markings on the body and legs show that it is Melecta albifrons. It is in fact a 'cleptoparasite' on Anthophora bees, meaning that it breaks into nests of Anthophora to lay its eggs, and the larva of Melecta destroys the egg of Anthophora, and then eats the food provided by the host bee, acting a bit like a cuckoo. An attractive bee to see, but rather thuggish in its behaviour!

P.S. you might want to edit this observation so that it appears in the invertebrates section where more people may see it.

Entomologist and biological recorder