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Colletes daviesanus

AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaHymenopteraColletidaeColletesC. daviesanus

Colletes daviesanus belongs to the genus Colletes (plasterer bees), ground-nesting bees of the family Colletidae. It is a is a medium-sized bee of which females reach 8-10mm and males 7-9.5mm. C. daviesanus is common in England and Wales, occurring locally in both Scotland and Ireland.

C. daviesanus has a striped abdomen and more gray-brown with thinner hair on the thorax than other similar Colletes. Distinguishing features are: dorsum of thorax covered with lush reddish-brown hairs, the section rings of the abdomen are hairless, dorsal surface of between the rings of the abdomen is covered with dense gray-white hair.

With its strong jaws the bee builds nests by digging cavities in various, softer building materials, sand walls and sandstone, between roots of fallen trees. Each nest hole is covered with a lid, a cellophane-like plastic secretion from an abdominal gland.

C. daviesanus feeds on pollen and nectar of Asteraceae. It can frequently be spotted on composites, especially on Tanacetum vulgare and Achillea millefolium. It has a relatively short tongue of 4mm that is split at the tip.
Its flight period is from June till September. The larvae overwiter in cocoons and come out in spring.
This is the smallest species of Colletes in the UK.
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