Andrena scotica Perkins, 1916

Synonyms

Andrena carantonica misident.
Andrena jacobi Perkins, 1921
Andrena johnsoni Perkins, 1921

Description and notes

Although usually referred to as scotica in Britain, Schwarz et al. (1996) and Gusenleitner & Schwarz (2002) have treated scotica as a synonym of carantonica Peréz. However, Else & Edwards (in press), following P. Westrich’s (in litt.) interpretation of the type of carantonica, regard this is a separate species, with carantonica a junior synonym of trimmerana. It is one of the larger Andrena species, with a generally dark brown abdomen and a contrasting pattern of dark upper and pale lower hairs on the scopa of the hind leg. This species is one of the later emerging spring bees.

Distribution

Found over most of the Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

It is widely distributed in Europe.

Status (in Britain only)

This species is not regarded as scarce or threatened.

Habitat

Found in a wide range of habitats.

Flight period

Univoltine; April to June. Adult bees over-winter fully emerged in their natal burrows. Occasionally adults are reported in late September and October. These are most likely to be new adults responding to unusual temperature cues.

Pollen collected

A widely polylectic species.

Nesting biology

May nest singly or communally, frequently in quite concealed locations. Females often share a communal entrance to their burrows. The author has seen something over 200 females entering one area in a 15 minute period at Coates in West Sussex, just before a heavy shower. Interestingly he was not able to repeat this observation in subsequent years. C. Haes reported similar but smaller aggregations under one of the steps in his Cornwall garden, this time regularly over a number of years. L. Hebdon reports similar behaviour in her Lincolnshire garden.

Flowers visited

Visits a wide variety of flowers.

Parasites

Nomada marshamella (Kirby) and N. flava Panzer are cleptoparasites of this species. Both males and females may be frequently stylopised by Stylops aterrimus Newport.

Author of profile

M Edwards.

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