Andrena polita Smith,1847

Description and notes

A fairly large Andrena, comparable in size with A. scotica Perkins, but patterned more like A. fulvago (Christ) with darker wings. It has only been recorded in Britain on a few occasions: by F Smith in the middle of the nineteenth century, and subsequently with a number of records in the early 1900s and again in the 1930s. All these records relate to that part of Kent north of Maidstone, so it may well have been a species with several short-lived invasions, but which failed to become more widely established.

Distribution

This species has only been found in the extreme south-east of England.

It is widespread in Southern and Central Europe

Status (in Britain only)

This species is listed in Shirt (1987) and in Falk (1991) as Endangered (RDB1).

Habitat

All known British records come from areas of calcareous soils.

Flight period

Univoltine; late May to early August.

Pollen collected

Oligolectic on Asteraceae.

Nesting biology

Although not reported from Britain, it is known to nest in small aggregations within areas of bare ground in other parts of Europe.

Flowers visited

It is said to favour chicory (Westrich, 1989), but is also recorded at a range of other Asteraceae, such as hawkweed, hawkbit and cat’s-ear.

Parasites

Nomada integra Brullé is a known cuckoo of this species.

Author of profile

M Edwards.

 

Map compiled by: M Edwards and S P M Roberts.

Year profile last updated

2018