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Biology of Andrena (Callandrena sensu lato) asteris Robertson (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae), an Eastern Aster Specialist that Makes a Very Deep Nest

Anna C. Espinoza1,2,*, Katherine R. Urban-Mead2,3, Mark A. Buckner2, Nathalia Flórez-Gómez2, Jordan G. Kueneman2, and Bryan N. Danforth2

1Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70503. 2Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. 3Pollinator Conservation Specialist, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, 1971 Jacksonville Jobstown Road, Columbus, NJ 08022. *Corresponding author.

Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 29, Issue 4 (2022): 474–491

Here we present the first description of nest architecture, immature stages, and brood-parasitism of Andrena (Callandrena s. l.) asteris (Aster Miner Bee) and the first description of the nesting biology of any Callandrena in eastern North America. Brood cells varied from 50 to 91 cm in depth, making this the deepest solitary bee nest recorded in northeastern North America. Additionally, we assembled data on soil texture, phenology, geographic distribution, and host-plant preferences. By modeling publicly available observation data, we find that areas of peak habitat suitability for A. asteris are in proximity to coastal and inland shorelines and major water courses. Our results corroborate a recent assessment of the conservation status of New York pollinators, which ranked A. asteris as “vulnerable”.

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