18 April 2016

Andrena rosae, worth keeping an eye out for

Bees, obviously the things of the moment, like number 18 buses, none for ages and then three posts come at once. Isabella, I loved your article in the Bay magazine (all of them actually!), well worth spreading as widely as possible. Anyway with a risk of being boring, please read on.....
Andrena rosae male:

Continuing with the distinctive, relatively easy to ID bee theme, when I found one of these last year on Pwll Du head at Blackthorn I was quite excited. Steven Falk's book says very rare but there was a dot for it in Gower on NBN gateway if I remember correctly. It's hard to see but there are dots for north Devon and west Wales in Falk's book so it was one of my little jobs this year to look. Last week I saw it at Mumbles by the big apple at Alexanders, at Pennard (this picture) at Willow blossom and above Deep Slade at Blackthorn. No sign between Three Cliffs and Oxwich but the wind had turned much colder by saturday. It is easy to identify if you don't mix it up with a Sphecodes:
Look at the long hair and jaws, of this male rosae, and the spur coming off the cheek at the base of the jaw (double click on the upper image to  make it fill the screen). The female will not have these long jaws. The other red marked Andrena is labiata ( male has a white marked face) and I'm not sure that occurs here.......... There is another bee with markings where the reddish is on this one but it is brown there instead of rose and this is Andrena trimmerana and I have found this in the same places.

I'd be delighted to hear from anyone who thinks they've found it, especially if they have a nice photo. There is a second generation later in the year but there might be some other rare species to confuse it with, always game to give it a go ..................

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