Miner bees: Calliopsis barri

(Hymenoptera: [Apoidea:] Andrenidae: Panurginae: Calliopsini)

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

Calliopsis barri is a rare endemic to sand dunes in the Columbia Basin. It is only known to visit small-flowered legumes and little is known about its nesting habits.

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

Calliopsis barri is a rare bee endemic to sand dunes in the Columbia Basin.

taxonomic status

Initially named as Nomadopsis barri Rozen 1959, the genus was subsequently transferred to become a subgenus of Calliopsis (Michener 2000).

life history

The flight season of Calliopsis (Nomadopsis) barri is July. It is known to visit Melilotus and other small-flowered legumes. It has also been recorded as a visitor to picabo milkvetch (Astragalus oniciformis), a narrowly endemic plant restricted to Aeolian deposits and sandy soils in the upper Snake River Plain (Alexander, Liston, and Popovich 2004). Little is known about its nesting habits. Calliopsis barri nests in sand dunes. It has been recorded within the Columbia Basin in Idaho fescue-Bluebunch wheatgrass and Interior ponderosa pine habitat types.


Calliopsis barri has been recorded on sand dunes at Rexburg, ID, and Sisters, OR.

threats and conservation needs

The known populations of Calliopsis barri are on unprotected sand dunes, so the future of a bee with such a limited distribution is likely at risk.

The existing habitat for this bee should be protected to ensure adequate numbers of forage plants and nest sites.  Little is known of the biology of this species. Studies of both the nesting and foraging habits would be valuable. Searches of sand dunes in the Columbia Basin should be done to determine the distribution.


Alexander, J. A., A. Liston, and S. J. Popovich. 2004. Genetic diversity of the narrow endemic Astragalus oniciformis (Fabaceae) American Journal of Botany 91: 2004-2012.

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 2/15/05.)

California Academy of Sciences: Andrenidae Primary Types in CAS Collection. Available online (Accessed 2/15/05.)


Shepherd, M. D. 2005. Species Profile: Calliopsis barri. 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