Worcestershire Record No. 16 April 2004 pp. 27-28


Geoff Trevis

The WBRC Database

Hymenoptera are under-recorded in most parts of the country, even in the south-east where species diversity is at its highest and recorders most numerous. The BRC database reveals the expected pattern for Worcestershire, despite Michael Archerís recent important publications about the hymenoptera on Hartlebury Common and Devilís Spittleful reserve. Of about 520 aculeate species occurring in the British Isles only 205 have been recorded in the county. These comprise 98 species of solitary bee, 22 species of social bee, 59 species of solitary wasp, 8 species of social wasp and 18 ant species. Many records date from the 1950ís and two species are now either extinct nationally or in the county, these being the bumble bees Bombus subterraneus and Bombus sylvarum (the Shrill Carder bee).

Nonetheless, records are steadily accumulating and the increasing mobility of recorders suggests that the distributions of species reflect the genuine situation rather than the distribution of the recorders. Outside the heaths in the north east of the county there are few records of notable or red data book species though investigations of sites such as the Kemerton Lakes Nature Reserve suggest that further structured recording may well turn up important finds. As is so often the case, rarer species tend to be recorded in preference to the common ones. For instance, since 1990 there have been only 20 records of the ubiquitous, white tailed bumble bee Bombus lucorum whilst, in the same period, there are 30 records of the relatively uncommon ant Lasius brunneus. A check list of county species recorded since 1990 is appended.

Records from Hartlebury Common and Devilís Spittleful

Dr. Michael Archer has recorded these sites at different times of year over many years and his species lists appear elsewhere in this journal, but some additional, salient features of his conclusions are summarised below.


Devilís Spittleful

Hartlebury Common

Species counts:


Solitary wasps



Solitary bees



Social bees and wasps







RDB species


Podalmia affinis

Pemphredon morio


Philanthus triangulum

Philanthus triangulum


Andrena tibialis

Andrena bucephala


Lasioglossum brevicorne

Sphecodes reticulatus


Sphecodes reticulatus

Nomada lathburiana


Priocnemis schoedtei


Nationally notable or rare species


Hedychridium cupreum

Hedychridium cupreum


Oxybelus argentatus

Oxybelus argentatus


Hylaeus signatus

Andrena argentata


Andrena bimaculata

Andrena bimaculata


Andrena humilis

Andrena humilis


Nationally notable etc.

Lasiglossum quadrinotatum

Andrena nigriceps


Sphecodes ferruginatus

Lasioglossum quadrinotatum


Dasypoda altercator

Sphecodes ferruginatus


Nomada pleurostricta

Dasypoda altercator


Nomada flavopicta

Archer has developed a statistical analysis of data, based on the number of species on a site and the number of RDB, notable and rare species among them, leading to a quality score to compare sites. Results for Devilís Spittleful and Hartlebury Common are shown below with results for other sites for comparison.


Total of solitary species

Species Quality Score

Bagmoor Common, Surrey



Ambersham Common, West Sussex



Hartlebury Common



Devilís Spittleful



Gibraltar Point, Lincs.



The Worcestershire reserves clearly occupy a position midway between these geographical extremes, as would be expected from its location, though Archer considers them to have more affinity with the southern heaths than with the northern. However, their species richness makes them of national importance.

One cautionary note made by Archer is that, based on more recent surveys, some species should be downgraded either because of range expansion or because of improved recording, and this will affect the quality scores. These species are, Philanthus triangulum, Nomada lathburiana, Priocnemis schoedtei, Andrena tibialis and Sphecodes reticulatus.


The number of ant species on the database may be increased by two due to taxonomic revisions. The common, black garden ant, Lasius niger, has now been split into two species, L. niger (ss) and L. platythorax. Similarly, Lasius alienus has also been split into two, L. alienus (ss) and L. psammophilus. These are difficult to separate morphologically and their ranges overlap. Old records will need to be reviewed and new records will only be accepted for the four species when positive identification of a voucher specimen has been made by an accredited expert.

ARCHER M.E. 2002 The wasps and bees (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) of Hartlebury Common Local Nature Reserve in Watsonian Worcestershire. Proceedings of the Birmingham Natural History Society. 28(A): 2Ė19.
ARCHER M.E. 2004 The wasps and bees (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) of Devilís Spittleful Nature Reserve in Watsonian Worcestershire. Entomologists Monthly Magazine. 140:39Ė49.

Appendix 1 - Check list of Worcestershire Aculeate Hymenoptera, 1990 Ė present.

Solitary wasps


Chrysis angustula, Chrysis ignita, Hedychridium ardens, H. cupreum, H. integrum, Trichrysis cyanea.


Sapyga quinquepunctata


Argenioideus cinctellus, Arachnospila anceps, Arachnospila spissa, Arachnospila trivialis, Arachnospila wesmaeli, Dipogon subintermedius, Episyron rufipes, Evagetes crassicornis, Priocnemis exaltata, P. parvula, P. pertabator, P.schioedtei.


Ancistrocerus gazella, A. nigricornis, A. trifasciatus.


Ammophila pubescens, A. sabulosa, Argogorytes mystaceus, Astata pinguis, Cerceris arenaria, C. rybyensis, Crabro cribrarius, C. peltarius, Crossocerus annulipes, C. megacephalus, C. ovalis, C. pusillus, C. quadrimaculatus, C. wesmaeli, Diodontus minutus, D. tristis, Ectemnius cavifrons, E. cephalotes, E. continuus, E. literatus, E. sexcinctus, Gorytes quadrifasciatus, G. tumidus, Harpactus tumidus, Lindenius albilabris, Mellinus arvensis, Mimesa equestris, M.lutana, Oxybellus argentatus, O. uniglumis, Passaloecus corniger, Pemphredon lethifer, P. lugubris, P. morio, Philanthus triangulum, Podalonia affinis,P. exaltata, Psen equestris, P. latarius, Psenulus pallipes, Rhopalum clavipes, Tachysphex pompiliformis, Trypoxylon attenuatum, T. clavicerum.

Social wasps


Dolichovespula media, D. norwegica, D. saxonica, D. sylvestris, Vespa crabro, Vespula germanica, V. rufa, V. vulgaris

Solitary bees


Colletes daviesanus, C. fodiens, C. similis, C. succinctus, Hylaeus brevicornis, H. communis, H. hyalinatus, H. signatus,


Andrena angustior, A. argentata, A. barbilabris, A. bicolour, A. bimaculata, A. bucephala, A. chrysosceles, A. clarkella, A. cineraria, A. denticulata, A. dorsata, A. flavipes, A. fucata, A. fulva, A. fuscipes, A. haemorrhoa, A. humilis, A. minutula, A. nigriceps, A. nigroaenea, A. ovatula, A. pubescens, A. saundersella, A. scotica, A. subopaca, A. synadelpha, A. tarsata, A. tibialis, A. trimmerana, A. wilkella, Panurgus banksianus.


Halictus puncticollis, H. rubicundus, H. tumulorum, Lasioglossum albipes, L. brevicorne, L. calceatum, L. cupromicrans, L. leucopum, L. leucozonium, L. minutissimum, L. morio, L. parvulum, L. punctatissimum, L. quadrinotatum, L. rufitarse, L. smeathmanellum, L. villosulum, Sphecodes ephippus, S. fasciatus, S. ferruginatus,S. geoffrellus, S. hyalinatus, S. monilicornis, S. pellucidus, S. puncticeps, S. reticulates.


Dasypoda altercator, Melitta haemorrhoidalis


Anthidium manicatum, Chelostoma campanularum, Coeloxys inermis, Hoplitis claviventris, Megachile centuncularis, M. ligniseca, M. maritima, .M. versicolor, M. willughbiella, Osmia coerulescens, O. leaiana, O. rufa.


Anthophora plumipes, Epeolus cruciger, E. variegatus, Nomada fabriciana, N. flava, N. flavopicta, N. fucata, N. goodeniana, N. lathburiana, N. marshamella, N. panzeri, N. pleurosticta, N. ruficornis,N. rufipes.

Social bees


Apis mellifera, Bombus hortorum, B. lapidaries, B. lucorum, B. pascuorum, B. pratorum, B. ruderarius, B. ruderatus, B. terrestris, B. (Psithyrus) bohemicus, B. (Psithyrus) campestris, B. (Psithyrus) sylvestris, B. (Psithyrus) vestalis.



Formica fusca, F. rufa, Lasius brunneus, L. flavus, L. fuliginosus, L. niger (s.l.), L. umbratus, Leptothorax nylanderi, Myrmecina graminicola, M. rubra, M. ruginodis, M. scabrinodis.


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