Andrena wilkella -Sandy

Description and notes
A close relative of A. ovatula (Kirby) and best separated from it by the broken hair-band in both sexes on the third gastral tergite (particularly obvious in the female).

Distribution
Widely distributed throughout Britain, from East Kent to West Cornwall, northwards to East Sutherland and on the Isle of Man. In Ireland, it occurs from South Kerry and Wexford north to West Donegal (Stelfox, 1927; Ronayne & O’Connor, 2003). The Channel Island distribution is centred on the larger islands of Alderney (Luff, 1900), Guernsey (Richards, 1979), Herm (Luff, 1905), Jersey (Richards, 1979) and Sark (Luff, 1907).
The species has an Holarctic distribution, occurring widely in both Eurasia and North America. According to Gusenleitner & Schwarz (2002), the species is found from southern Fennoscandia south to Iberia, and east to Turkey and the former USSR; in North Africa it has been reported from Morocco. It has also been found in China (Yasumatsu, 1941). In the Nearctic, it occurs from Nova Scotia to Wisconsin, south to Virginia and Ohio (Hurd in Krombein et al., 1979) (Hurd (1979) presumes it is an introduction in North America).
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Habitat
Flower-rich grasslands, broad-leaved woodland clearings and private gardens.
Flight period
Generally considered to be a univoltine species, flying in the spring from April to June. However, records in July and August (sometimes including individuals in freshly emerged condition) may indicate a partial second brood. A similar situation involving late summer activity has been noted in the former Czechoslovakia (Kocourek, 1966).
Nesting biology
Females nest either singly (Chambers, 1949) or in huge, compact aggregations (Perkins, 1919). The species over-winters as a larva or prepupa (Meidell, 1967). Males are often seen flying in large numbers about the foliage of bushes and trees.
Flowers visited
Sea campion, sheep’s sorrel, thrift, willow, mustard, cherry, hawthorn, sainfoin, common bird’s-foot-trefoil, tufted vetch, bush vetch, broad bean, melilot, white clover, red clover, broom, spurge, gorse, alder buckthorn, maple, water-dropwort, bogbean, speedwell, dandelion, ragwort, unidentified grasses.
Parasites
Nomada striata Fabricius is a cleptoparasite of this species. Specimens of A. wilkella are often stylopised, apparently by Stylops thwaitei Saunders. This stylops may be the species that Perkins (1918) called Stylops wilkella. Formerly these affected bees were misidentified,being given the name Andrena convexiuscula Kirby (e.g. Smith, 1855). Such stylopised bees tend to fly earlier in the flight period than unaffected individuals. In Norway, Meidell (1967) observed male Stylops (species not cited) emerging from a female A. wilkella.

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Andrena nigrospina -Sandy -Highlight of the year***

Description and notes
This species is the rarer of the two formerly known as A. pilipes or A. carbonaria. It has a single flight period which occurs in May and June between the two broods of A. pilipes sens. str. Andrena nigrospina has shown a very marked decline in distribution since the mid 20th century, although quantifying this is very difficult as many of the records do not now have specimens to back them up and so cannot be re-examined. Examination of male genitalia is necessary for determination, and specimens flying in June are thought most likely to be this species,

Distribution
Central and southern England, with modern records coming from Surrey, Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
It is widely distributed in Central Europe.
Status (in Britain only)
As the split in the two species post-dates both the Red Data Book (Shirt, 1987) and the Review (Falk, 1991) this species is not currently listed. It is clear, however, that its status should be reviewed.
Habitat
There is possibly some association with sandy areas.
Flight period
May to June.
Nesting biology
Nests in aggregations in bare soil at the Staffordshire locality (G Trevis, pers. comm.). Elsewhere in Europe it has been reported as nesting singly.
Flowers visited
In Surrey this species has been found visiting flowers of hoary mustard, rape and groundelder (Baldock, 2008) and G Knight (pers. comm.) found males flying around flowering broom in Staffordshire.
Parasites
A very dark and structurally distinct form of what otherwise appears to be Nomada fulvicornis Fabricius has been identified as being associated with this species in the Staffordshire area (Falk, 2005).

Crabro cribrarius – Sandy

Of the three species of Crabro which occur in Britain, C. cribrarius is the largest. Male Crabro can be readily distinguished from other medium-sized British and Irish sphecids by their conspicuous fore-tibial shields.

Distribution
A local species but widely distributed throughout much of Britain and the Channel Islands.
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being threatened.
Habitat
This wasp is mainly associated with light, sandy soils, such as lowland heaths and coastal dunes and landslips. However, it is also encountered on heavier soils, being known, for example, from open woodland and chalk grassland.
Flight period
Apparently single-brooded; late June to mid-September.
Prey collected
Paralysed Diptera of the families Therevidae, Asilidae, Empididae, Syrphidae and the superfamily Muscoidea (Richards, 1980).
Nesting biology
The nest burrows are excavated in the soil and extend for 15-20 cm. Each main burrow ends in a cell, and later two or three cells are constructed at the end of short, lateral branches (Lomholdt, 1976).The cells are provisioned with five to eight flies (Lomholdt, 1976). Continental nests have also been found in decayed wood (Kohl, 1915); indeed, British specimens of this wasp have occasionally been seen alighting on wood.
Flowers visited
This species mainly visits species of umbellifers (Apiaceae), including wild angelica, wild parsnip, hogweed and wild carrot. It also visits creeping thistle.

Andrena fulvago- Sandy

The females of this medium-sized Andrena are quite distinctive, with the gaster having a terminal covering of bright golden-yellow hairs, a feature they share with only a few other British species. The males, on the other hand are, like most male Andrena, quite unremarkable, looking at first glance like those of
A. chrysosceles (Kirby), but readily told apart by the lack of yellow facial markings and the fact that they fly rather later in the year.

Distribution
Found throughout southern and central England as well as in the south-eastern parts of Wales, although always local in occurrence. The species is not known in Scotland or Ireland, but does occur in the Channel Islands.
It is widespread in Europe, although much more frequent towards the south of the region.
Status (in Britain only)
This species is listed in Falk (1991) as Notable A (now known as Near Threatened).
Habitat
Associated with open grasslands.
Flight period
May to July.
Nesting biology
Usually it nests singly, but has been reported in small aggregations.
Flowers visited
All floral observations, for both males and females, have been on yellow-flowered Asteraceae.
Parasites
No parasites have been recorded in Britain. Westrich (1989) refers to a report that Nomada integra Brullé is associated with this species but doesn’t list this Andrena as a host under the entry for the Nomada.