Andrena chrysosceles

24th April 2012
It's always great when you add a new species to your list of "finds". For me, even though my particular interest is in solitary bees, with more than 200 species this is still a regular occurence. The problem for the novice is recognising that it is actually something "new" and then finding out what exactly it is!

My primary "patch" for photography is my garden and the local church. I open the church every morning and (weather permitting), do a quick tour of the churchyard looking for anything interesting. With plenty of dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) in flower, these offer good hunting grounds. On 24th April I saw this small (about 7-8 mm) bee in a dandelion. As soon as the white lower face (clypeus) came into focus, I knew I hadn't seen this one before.

It's a small Mining Bee Andrena chrysosceles. The male is the commonest of the species with a white face. This one was quite docile and I was able to lie down on the grass and get the camera reasonably steady for these "zoomed-in" images.

I haven't seen any females yet. That's something else to look out for once the weather improves a bit!

Click here for the NBN Gateway distribution map for this species.

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