The orange hairs on the thorax of this large species make it quite noticeable and relatively distinctive. As a result, iNaturalist users have done a great job documenting this species throughout the state, where it was not previously well known. The earliest known records from VT are from 2013 and it remains somewhat uncommon in collections.
Identification: The large size, bright orange hairs, and dark wings make this a relatively distinctive and noticeable spring Mining Bee.
Similar Species: Rufous-backed Cellophane Bee (Colletes thoracicus) – An unrelated, but superficially similar species that hasn’t yet been found in Vermont but is among our “Most Wanted“. See the Cellophane Bee page for separating the two genera.
Other Melandrena – Several closely related Mining Bees are similar and can have pale orange hairs that overlap with faded Dunning’s Mining Bees.
Global Status: G5 – Secure
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.