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Andrena vaga - mating

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 29 March 2012 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Andrena vaga (NL: Grijze zandbij /EN: ? / DE: Auensandbiene, Weidensandbiene / FR: ?) is a mining bee between 11 and 15 millimeters long. Within the family of the mining bees this species is known as a large species. The bee is black with a light gray coat evenly across the thorax and head. The abdomen is bare and shiny black. The male, which is clearly smaller than the female seems to have a white mustache.
The differece in length between male and female can clearly be seen in this image.
The species flies from March to May. Andrena vaga is a specialist who only collects pollen on willow (Salix sp.). The willow needed for a nest site are on average within a radius of 250 meters around it. There are pollen collecting hairs for transport on the hind legs. The species lives in pioneer vegetation. The nests run from 25 to 50 cm vertically downwards and then branch off into multiple side aisles at the end where the widened brood cells are located. There are often many nests together, which are used for many years.

Image: Schilde (B) - 20/03/2012

Canon EOS 400D 1/200 second F/14.0 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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Marilla from Turku, Finland

Looks wild!

29 Mar 2012 7:46am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

What an excellent macro shot, and the poor male looks as though he has his chores cut out for him.

29 Mar 2012 11:18am

christine from oelegem, Belgium

Een knappe foto, op het juiste moment én haarscherp, het wollige aspect komt heel goed tot uiting.

29 Mar 2012 7:41pm

Wendy from Canterbury, New Zealand


30 Mar 2012 1:40am

Canon EOS 400D
1/200 second
ISO 200
150 mm