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Essex Field Club
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Species Account for Odynerus melanocephalus

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Odynerus melanocephalus  (Gmelin in Linnaeus, 1790)
Black Headed Mason Wasp
Aculeata: Eumenidae

Odynerus melanocephalus Copyright: Peter Harvey

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Taxonomic group: bees and wasps (Aculeata) - County data

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BAP status: UKBAP  
Essex RDB: Listed
Threat: Regionally Important

Records: 44
First Record: 1987
Latest Record: 2020

1992-on hectads: 13
Pre-1992 hectads: 1
Total hectads: 13
Additional Phenology Data


Odynerus melanocephalus
Odynerus melanocephalus

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Species text
Odynerus melanocephalus has been widely recorded in southern England, but post-1970 records are mostly from the coasts of Dorset, Kent, the Isle of Wight and the East Thames Corridor. The species is a new UKBAP species, added in the 2007 review. It is especially associated with grassland and scrub on light, clayish soils, and has been found on soft rock cliffs and inland on heaths and disturbed areas. Nest burrows, with the protruding chimney characteristic of Odynerus species, are dug in level, exposed soil. Although the 1991 status review suggests that the nest cells are stocked with small larvae of Lepidoptera or Coleoptera, autecological work undertaken by Steve Falk in 2005 has shown the wasp collects the larvae of the weevil Hypera postica, (although other species may also be involved) associated with Fabiaceae. In particular at the site investigated the wasps were found on large, sheltered patches of Black Medick Medicago lupulina damaged by larvae of Hypera postica (Falk, 2005). In Essex the wasp also seems to be associated with Spotted Medick Medicago arabica. References

Species text last edited on Thu Nov 7th 2019 by user 169


Broad Habitat Data (based on 23 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 14 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 44 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Odynerus melanocephalus

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Odynerus melanocephalus

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