Andrena ovatula


Length 7 to 11 mm. This is a small, dark species of solitary mining bee. There are several similar species and detailed examination is necessary. The females are the easiest sex to identify. The hind margin of tergite 3 with a complete band in fresh individuals (broken in wilkella and similis), the band on tergite 4 much broader than wilkella and similis and hairs at tip of abdomen dusky brown rather than orange-brown.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Most solitary bees and wasps are difficult to identify, and can rarely be identified from photos taken in the field.  All red-rated records should include a photo or set of photos of the specimen, illustrating the key characters taken from a standard key, which should also be referenced (e.g. ‘Falk, 2015’).  The full set of key characters are generally not visible in field photos and photos are rarely sharp enough. To aid in the verification of your records, please include face shot, side, top and wings.  The notes should state whether male or female, and explain how the specimen met the key characters.  Although NS may not be able to identify the species even if these reference photos are provided, the photos will be stored with the record and may allow it be identified in future.   Alternatively, NS will accept records identified by a recognised local or national expert, or that have been identified via BWARS’ Facebook .  If you have obtained this advice, please note the name of the person/organisation identifying the record in the ‘determiner’ field (e.g. ‘Stuart Roberts, BWARS Facebook’) rather than just a comment of ‘BWARS Facebook’.


Various habitats including hedgerows, flower meadows and post industrial areas.

When to see it

Usually seen between April and July but occasionally through to September.

Life History

Feed on the pollen of various flowers.

UK Status

Mainly a southern species in Britain with most records concentrated along the south coast of England.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. The Bradgate Park record of 6th June 2013 was the first record of this species in VC55.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Small Gorse Mining Bee
Species group:
Bees, Wasps, Ants
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
06/06/2013 (Ikin, Helen)
Last record:
26/07/2023 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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