Latin name: Cerceris quinquefasciata
Notable feature: The five yellow bands on the abdomen
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated
Where in the UK: Southern England predominantly Essex, Norfolk & Suffolk
Five-banded Weevil-wasp (Cerceris quinquefasciata) © Mike Edwards
The Five-banded Weevil-wasp (Cerceris quinquefasciata) is a native, medium-sized, solitary, wasp found in southern England, predominantly in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.
This wasp has five yellow bands on its abdomen, as its name would suggest. The female digs to create an underground nest chamber in sandy, disturbed areas and brownfield sites.
It is also known as the Five-banded Tailed Digger Wasp.
- Size: 9-13mm in length
- Life span: Annual life cycle; most wasps will only live for a few weeks but the mated Queen will hibernate underground to lay her eggs in summer so may survive for up to a year.
- Diet: Small weevil species; has also been seen visiting Bramble and Creeping Thistle but this may be in search of prey rather than for directly feeding.
- Reproduction: The females create cells in the nest and each cell is provisioned with weevil prey to feed the larvae. It will then pupate for complete metamorphosis to the adult stage of the life cycle
- When to see: Flight period is July to late August
- Population Trend: Severe decline; where found the wasp may appear quite common
- Threats: Loss of habitat: sandy soils for nests with adjacent flower rich grassland and scrub for the weevil prey
- Fun Fact: The weevil is only paralysed and therefore still alive whilst it is stored in the nest waiting to be eaten alive by the emergent larvae
How you can help:
Buglife is working to increase awareness of invertebrates and the Five-banded Weevil-wasp through specific projects, including our current work at Canvey Wick and campaigns which have highlighted the importance of areas in the south-east including the Thames Gateway and brownfield sites, but we need your help!
Join a recording scheme and log your finds – send any records/sightings to BWARS or download the iRecord app and get recording!
Do remember that we rely on donations to continue our work. If you have searched, found and learnt about our incredible invertebrates on our website, please do consider Making a Donation, Becoming a Member or maybe even making a purchase in our shop. For more ideas on how to support our work find out how to Get Involved. Thank you 🕷