This is a uncommon fall asteracae specialist with a strong preference for goldenrod. Only known from a few sites in Vermont. The likely host for a rare fall Nomad Cuckoo - Nomada electa.

Andrena braccata female © Spencer Hardy

Andrena braccata female © Spencer Hardy

 

 

Identification: Large, with distinct hair bands on the abdomen. Closely related and visually similar to two more common fall species (Aster Mining Bee and Sunflower Mining Bee). The three species seem to separate out by host plant pretty well, though not always. Males of all three species have yellow on the clypeus (face) and are more likely to visit a variety of flowers. To confirm Andrena braccata females look for strong hair bands on the abdomen, with the band on T2 interrupted in the middle, and wing vein m-cu meeting the second submarginal cell before middle of cell (see image below).

 

Andrena braccata wing detail © Spencer Hardy

Similar Species:

Aster Mining Bee (Andrena asteris) – Hair band on the second abdominal segment (T2) tends to be complete on A. asteris but usually interrupted on A. braccata. A. asteris may tend to be a paler yellow, with a preference for asters, though also visits goldenrods.

Sunflower Mining Bee (Andrena helianthi) – Hair bands on abdomen less distinct than A. braccata and interrupted in the middle. Usually on Sunflower.

Global Status: Not Ranked

Vermont Status: Not Ranked

 

For more information, visit the following links:

Discover Life
Living Atlas Species Page

Distribution: 

To see the global distribution, check out the iNaturalist account, and toggle the GBIF layer on the map.