Andrena marginata- Dark form- Kings Forest

 

This is another first for me and while it is down asĀ Andrena marginata which it is , it comes in two colour forms the dark like mine or a orange abdomen form they are now doing a DNA test on species collected to see if they are two separate species , both only feed on small scabious

A medium-sized mining bee with dark males but females that can have a mainly red abdomen or a dark one (with a full range of intermediates). Males have the lower face whitish with two small black spots, and the lower margin of the clypeus is strongly out-curved and ending in sharp points. Both sexes have the lower hind corners of the head strongly angulated.

Most records are within southern England and South Wales, extending as far north as Lincolnshire (though entirely absent from the Midlands). A small number of sites are known in the Scottish Highlands, and there are also some Irish records. The modern strongholds include Salisbury Plain and the East Anglian Brecks and it has declined substantially over most of its former range.

A. marginata requires scabious-rich habitats, including chalk grassland, coastal grasslands, heathland, moorland edge and woodland rides. On calcareous sites, it obtains its pollen mainly from Field and Small scabiouses and peaks in late July and early August. On more acidic sites (including all its Scottish sites) it forages on Devil’s-bit Scabious and peaks in late August and early September to coincide with the later flowering of this plant.

Nesting has not been observed in Britain but is presumed to occur in light, sparsely-vegetated ground or short turf. It is the special host of the rare cleptoparasitic nomad bee Nomada argentata. It is a conservation priority species.

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