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5:43PM

Pantaloon bees & small shaggy bees at Castle Rocks

The pantaloon bee Dasypoda hirtipes and small shaggy bee Panurgus calcaratus are on the wing in numbers at Castle Rocks, Hastings at the moment. Both species specialise in collecting pollen from yellow composites and nest in sandy soil mainly on the top slope of Castle Rocks overlooking the entrance to Hastings Castle.

Dasypoda female excavating nest.

The Panurgus calcaratus nesting aggregation is particularly interesting as it seems to be quite an isolated population in East Sussex. Most populations of this species occur on sandy heaths in Sussex. The aggregation at Castle Rocks is quite large and it is possible to see multiple females using shared nest burrow entrances not only in excavated nest entrances but also small cracks in the sandstone.

Male Panurgus calcaratus (note the orange and black antennae).

Andy Phillips

Photos by Ian Phillips

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