Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Mining Bees.

Adults small to large; (5.5–)9–16 mm long; very hairy; with branched or feathery hairs on the body. Solitary insects (in the sense of not forming organised colonies, but often many nests are constructed side by side).

Head. Antennal segments (10–)12 (females), or (10–)13 (males). The terminal antennal segment pointed. Tongue shorter than the prementum (but almost as long, in a Panurgus illustrated by Saunders); pointed. Labial palps with all the segments similar in length and subcylindrical, or with only segment 1 elongated and all of them subcylindrical.

Thorax. Thorax black, grey, black and grey, brown or reddish brown. Pronotum more or less straight at the back; short, not extending back to the tegulae. Cenchri absent. Wings present. Fore-wings with a conspicuous pterostigma, or without a pterostigma (the pterostigma usually inconspicuous); with the venation well developed. Closed fore-wing cells 6–10. Submarginal cells 2, or 3. Discoidal cells 2. The basal forewing vein (BV) straightish. Hind-wings with closed cells. Hind femur without a well defined trochantellus. Hind tibiae with spurs specialised for a cleaning rôle. Hind basitarsi wider than the other segments.

Abdomen. The abdomen with a marked basal constriction; short-waisted. The ‘waist’ simple. Visible abdominal segments 6 (females), or 7 (males). The gaster concolorous, or colour-patterned; when concolorous, black, brown or reddish brown; when colour-patterned, black-and-yellow, -orange or -grey. Ovipositor of females not visibly protruding; modified as a retractable sting.

Larvae. Larvae legless or the legs vestigial; feeding on material manufactured by the adults.

British representation. Species in Britain about 70; Andrena (with all but two of the species, in numerous subgenera), and Panurgus.

Classification. Suborder Apocrita; Series Aculeata; Superfamily Apoidea.

Illustrations. • Panurgus banksianus (Hairy Panurgus): B. Ent. 101. • Panurgus banksianus (detail): B. Ent. 101. • Panurgus banksianus (dissections): B. Ent. 101. • Panurgus banksianus: B. Ent. 101, legend+text. • Panurgus banksianus (text, cont.): B. Ent. 101. • 6 Andrena species (Saunders XXVIII). • 5 Andrena species (Saunders XXIX). • 4 Andrena species (Saunders XXX). • 5 Andrena species (Saunders XXXI). • Andrena species (Saunders XXXII). • 6 Andrena species (Saunders XXXIII). • 3 Andrena species (Saunders XXXIV). • Panurgus calcaratus (Saunders XXXV and XXXVI). • Andrena bucephala: Stephens, 1846.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.