This widely distributed willow specialist is one of only a few Andrena species with a bright red abdomen. Look for it on willows in April and May – binoculars or a telephoto lens are helpful. In Vermont has been found to nest communally, with a preference for relatively bare, sandy soil. It is the only known host for the Obliterated Cuckoo Nomad Bee (Nomada obliterata), a relatively distinctive kleptoparasitic bee.
Identification: Most (but not all) female and some male Red-tailed Mining Bees have distinctive red “tails”. Individuals without red are best identified with a microscope.
Similar Species: Two other willow specialists can have red abdomens – Colourful Willow Miner Bee (Andrena andrenoides) and Maria Miner Bee (Andrena mariae) – so far neither has been recorded in Vermont, but both could occur here. The surface texture of the abdomen, number of submarginal cells in the wing, and details of the face are all helpful for ID.
Global Status: Not Ranked
Vermont Status: Not Ranked
For more information, visit the following links:
Living Atlas Species Page
To see the global distribution, check out the iNaturalist account, and toggle the GBIF layer on the map.