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Andrena geranii Robertson, 1891


Scientific Name: Andrena geranii Robertson, 1891

Common Name: Waterleaf Miner Bee


Andrena geranii Robertson, 1891: 54 [♀, ♂].

     Lectotype ♀, designated by LaBerge (1977: 116). USA, Illinois, Carlinville, 11 May 1886, by C. Robertson, on Geranium maculatum [INHS].


Taxonomic notes: LaBerge (1977: 114) synonymized Andrena campanulae under Andrena geranii Robertson, 1891, and considered it a variable species in terms of its colour, the former a black species (Viereck and Cockerell 1914), the latter with hints of blue (Robertson 1891). As indicated by Gibbs et al. (2023), LaBerge may have been incorrect in the synonymy, as the bluish forms (i.e., Andrena geranii) tend to be eastern in distribution (i.e., ON and QC in Canada) while the black forms (i.e., Andrena campanulae) are western, occurring from BC to MB. In addition, each form is genetically different, each assigned different DNA Barcode Index Numbers in BOLD.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAC1607

Biology: The species ephthet is seemingly not reflective of oligolecty in this species on Geranium: LaBerge (1977: 177) indicated that it tends to prefer flowers of Hydrophyllum (waterleaf, hence the selected common name), though will also forage on Campanula and Geranium (LaBerge 1977). In light of the removal of Andrena campanulae from synonymy, the floral association should be reassessed, though most of the records from LaBerge (1977) were like in reference to A. geranii.

Distribution in Canada: Criddle et al. 1924 [ON]; Knerer and Atwood 1964 [ON]; LaBerge 1977 [ON, QC]; Patenaude 2007 [MB – misidentified, based on Gibbs et al. 2023]; Normandin et al. 2017 [QC].

The presence of this species from AB by Sheffield et al. (2014) were based on LaBerge’s (1977) concept of this species, that included Andrena campanulae Viereck and Cockerell, 1914 as a junior synonym. This is now believed to be an error, and the AB records should refer to A. campanulae.

The presence of this species in BC by Sheffield and Heron (2019) is also based on misidentified specimens of Andrena nigrihirta (Ashmead, 1890) in BOLD.


Knerer G, Atwood CE (1964) An annotated check list of the genus Andrena in Ontario (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Ontario 95: 41-56.

LaBerge WE (1977) A revision of the bees of the genus Andrena of the Western Hemisphere. Part VIII. Subgenera Thysandrena, Dasyandrena, Psammandrena, Rhacandrena, Euandrena, Oxyandrena. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 103(1): 1-143.

Normandin É, Vereecken NJ, Buddle CM, Fournier V (2017) Taxonomic and functional trait diversity of wild bees in different urban settings. PeerJ 5: e3051.

Robertson C (1891) Descriptions of new species of North American bees. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 18(1): 49-66.

Sheffield CS, Frier SD, Dumesh D (2014) The bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes) of the Prairies Ecozone, with comparisons to other grasslands of Canada. In: Giberson DJ, Cárcamo HA (Eds) Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands (Volume 4): Biodiversity and Systematics Part 2. 4. Biological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, 479 pp. [ISBN 978-0-9689321-7-9].

Viereck HL, Cockerell TD (1914) New North American bees of the genus Andrena. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 48: 1-58.

Gibbs J, Hanuschuk E, Miller R, Dubois M, Martini M, Robinson S, Nakagawa P, Sheffield CS, Onuferko T (2023) A checklist of the bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of Manitoba, Canada. The Canadian Entomologist 155: E3.

Sheffield CS, Heron JM (2019) The bees of British Columbia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes). Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 115: 44-85.

Criddle N, Curran CH, Viereck HL, Buckell ER (1924) The entomological record, 1923. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 54: 87-102.

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Broad Oligolecty
Wintering Stage: Adult

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Symphoricarpos occidentalis, Rosa sp., Ranunculus sp., Borodinia dentata, Hydrophyllum sp., Geranium sp., Taraxacum officinale, Pastinaca sativa, Populus deltoides, Hydrophyllum virginianum, Geranium maculatum, Hydrophyllum appendiculatum, Blephilia ciliata, Hydrophyllum fendleri, Viola sp.

Distribution: Ontario, Quebec
Ecozone: Boreal Shield, Mixwood Plains