Ring-legged Crossocerus Crossocerus annulipes

Crossocerus annulipes

Length male 4.5-6 mm, female 5-8 mm. A small black digger wasp with broadened front basitarsus (first tarsal segment of the leg).

The larva preys on paralysed small hemiptera like jumping plant lice (Psylloidea) and mirid bugs (Miridae) stocked in the nest by the female. Nests are constructed in dead and occasionally rotting broadleaved or coniferous wood. Large nests may be provisioned with up to 500 bugs. Adults feed on nectar.

Seen May to September, in a variety of habitats where nesting is suitable. Widespread throughout the British Isles, more common in the south, local elsewhere.

Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps & Sawflies)
Family Crabronidae (Crabronid Wasps)
Species Crossocerus annulipes (Lepeletier & Brullé, 1835)

Photos: Rear garden, South Staffordshire June 2020. © Peter Hillman