Shiny-vented Sharp-tail Bee

Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th September 2016
I managed to identify an unusual bee in the garden at the weekend as a female Shiny-vented Sharp-tail Bee, Coelioxys inermis, after careful study and taking photographs at different angles. Using Falk and Lewington's 'Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland', and Rowson and Pavett's 'A Visual Guide for the Identification of British Coelioxys Bees' I was able to get the ID to species level. Sharp-tail Bees are host parasites, the female using its sharp 'tail' to pierce the cells of Megachile Leaf-cutter Bees to lay its eggs in them.
The shape of the female abdomen tip, viewed from underneath, was a clincher
I also studied the facial setae characteristics
And some recent spiders, first a Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus, on the outside of the house:
And then inside the house, this Noble False Widow Spider, Steadota nobilis, a native of the Canary Islands and Madeira, has set up home in the utility room:


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