Sharp-tailed Bee

Coelioxys species


Body length 5 - 9mm. The thorax is very dark and densely punctured. The abdomen is dark with pale, bristly hairs between the tergites and, in the females, tapers towards a point. There are six similar species found in mainland Britain and care should be taken in identifying to species.


These species are cleptoparasites of megachile and anthophora bees and can sometimes be seen taking nectar from brambles.

Status and distribution

These bees are thinly distributed mostly in the south or coastal areas, but some reach as far north as Yorkshire or even the north of Scotland. Uncommon in Nottinghamshire and recorded once at Netherfield Lagoons.

Best time to see

June to August.