Identification: Males and female similar. Abdomen has only 2 yellowish stripes. Thorax segment 2 (scutellum) entirely red.
Head: White hairs faintly circle antenna bases in female. Cheeks very narrow.
Antenna: Scape and segment 1 reddish, rest of segments black, antenna short.
Thorax: Black. Collar scaly light yellow, not interrupted at centre. Segment 1 (scutum) dark, rough and pitted, no white median lines. Segment 2 (scutellum) red, with a spine (axilla) at each side edge. Yellow line across bottom edge. Thorax sides bare, tubercle reddish.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) red. Wings dark.
Legs: Reddish. Underside of hind thigh (femur) dark. Legs may be black in northern populations. Spurs black.
Abdomen: Black, short. Segment 1 has a scaly, very wide light yellow stipe, slightly indented or interrupted at centre, and most times with a yellow line just below the stripe. Segment 2 has a narrower yellow stripe on lower edge. Abdomen tip is squarish on female, rounded on male.
Size: 7 to 9 mm long.
Flight Time: June to September.
Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.
Food: Adults eat nectar. Larva are cleptoparasites of Plasterer Bee Colletes latitarsis.
Life Cycle: Females lay eggs in ground-nesting cells of Plasterer bees Colletes latitarsis. Larva hatch and kill the Plasterer bee egg and feed on the provisions of pollen and nectar stored in the cell.
Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee species list; Lake Erie Islands species list. Kent County – Rondeau Prov. Park species list, 2009. Also in southern Michigan.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page