Insects on St Helen's Duver

A close-up of a common field grasshopper

St Helens Duver on the Isle of Wight provides good habitat for insects, including two threatened species – the Beewolf and the bee Halictus confusus.

Our threatened species

 
The Beewolf - which is actually a solitary burrowing wasp that preys on bees - was first recorded in Britain in 1828, right here on the Island. The female digs tunnels in sandy soil to lay eggs. It paralyses bees with its sting, then drags them back to feed the carnivorous larvae.
 
Halictus confusus is a metallic green sweat bee (so called because it's attracted to sweat), which is found at only 15 British sites.
 

A brilliant habitat for bees, wasps and spiders

 
No less than an amazing 67 species of bee and wasp have been recorded here. In addition to these is the Wasp spider, Argiope bruennichi, so called because the female (much larger than the male) has the distinctive black-and-yellow striped markings of a wasp. This spider first appeared on the south coast of Britain in 1922 but has recently been reported to be on the move northward.
 
In addition, the Duver is home to grasshoppers and crickets, notably the Common field grasshopper, Grey bush cricket (which favours dunes), Dark bush cricket and the Long-winged conehead cricket.