This species is a great example of the power of the Vermont Wild Bee Survey and other similar efforts around the country.
In Theodore Mitchell’s The Bees of the Eastern United States, published in 1960, Andrena parnassia is listed as occurring Michigan, Wisconsin, and Vermont. During the same year it was also found in North Carolina, but as far as we know, it was hardly ever recorded between 1960 and 2018. Recently a concerted effort has been made to find this species across its range, including in
Vermont. Target surveys on its host plant, Grass of Parnassus (Genus Parnassia) have turned up new records for several states, as well as several new locations for the species in Vermont. The only Grass of Parnassus species found here is the Fen Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia glauca), which is limited to fens and blooms in August and September. The Parnassia Miner has now been found in Orange, Windsor, and Caledonia Counties, where it has been easily found in association with large populations of its host plant. It should also occur in Bennington County where the plant is present.
Identification: A medium-large mining bee with abundant dark hairs. Few other species of mining bee are active in the fall away from goldenrod, though other bees species have been seen on Parnassus.
Similar Species: Peckham’s Mining Bee (Andrena peckhami)
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.