Miner bees: Andrena aculeata

(Hymenoptera: [Apoidea:] Andrenidae: Andreninae)

Profile prepared by Matthew Shepherd, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Andrena aculeata is restricted to the Columbia Basin but the limited records suggest that it is fairly widespread within that region. Little is known of its biology but it has a long flight period and has been found at a range of altitudes, which suggest it forages on a range of flower species. Research should focus on understanding the biology and establishing the distribution and population size.

red list profile

conservation status

Xerces Red List Status: Vulnerable
Other Rankings:

Canada – Species at Risk Act: N/A
Canada – provincial status: N/A
Mexico: N/A
USA – Endangered Species Act: N/A
USA – state status: N/A
NatureServe: N/A
IUCN Red List: N/A

Endemic species with an uncertain distribution and population status

taxonomic status

Andrena (Andrena) aculeata LaBerge 1980

life history

The flight period of Andrena (Andrena) aculeata is May to August (Tepedino and Griswold, 1995). A. aculeata nests in the ground. (Andrenid nests usually have a series of lateral tunnels radiating from a vertical burrow. Cells are normally at the end of the lateral tunnel and lined with a waxy secretion.) The flower preferences of A. aculeata are unknown, although its long flight period and wide range of altitudes at which it has been recorded suggest that it utilizes a range of plant species.

It has been recorded in two habitat types within the Columbia Basin, Englemann spruce-subalpine fir and Agricultural.


Andrena aculeata is endemic to the Columbia Basin. Not many records of this bee exist, however, the few that do indicate a long flight period and occurrence at range of altitudes, suggesting that it is fairly widespread within the Basin.

threats and conservation needs

Little is known of this bee making it difficult to assess threats. However, it is endemic to the region and recorded from an already disturbed habitat, agricultural, so it is likely that habitat change due to land use and agricultural intensification will affect this bee.

Conservation efforts should ensure that suitable (unknown) flowering plants persist and that appropriate nesting substrate remains.  Little is known of the biology of this species. Studies of both the nesting and foraging habits would be valuable.


Michener, C.D. 2000. The Bees of the World. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Tepedino, V.J., and T.L. Griswold. 1995. The bees of the Columbia Basin. Final report, USDA Forest Service, Portland, OR. 212 pp (Technical Report)

additional resources

Nomina Insecta Neartica (Accessed November 16th, 2004.)


Shepherd, M. D. 2005. Species Profile: Andrena aculeata. In Shepherd, M. D., D. M. Vaughan, and S. H. Black (Eds). Red List of Pollinator Insects of North America. CD-ROM Version 1 (May 2005). Portland, OR: The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.