Hymenoptera of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
View PDFAndrenidae Members: 39 NC Records

Andrena accepta Viereck, 1916 - No Common Name

No image for this species.
Family: Andrenidae Subfamily: AndreninaeChecklist Number: 6.00                                                                                  
Comments: This species is one of 470 members of this genus that occur in North American north of Mexico (Discover Life, accessed 2019-12-10), 97 of which have been recorded in North Carolina. LaBerge (1967) placed Andrena accepta in the Callendrena Subgenus and within the Accepta Species Group, the only member of which occurring in our state.
Species Status: No cryptic sibling species have been reported (BOLD, accessed 2019-12-10) but specimens from North Carolina do not appear to have been analyzed
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: Discover Life, BugGuide
Technical Description, Adults: Mitchell (1960); LaBerge (1967)                                                                                  
Adult Markings: A moderately large Andrena. The head is black and there are two prominent para-ocular patches of yellow located between the eyes and clypeus and below the antennal insertions; in the males, the clypeus is yellow as well (LaBerge, 1967). The vestiture of the head and thorax is ochraceous and the abdomen is black with apical bands on the tergites that consist of ochraceous hair. A view of the face showing the details of the pattern should be diagnostic, at least in our area where other, similar members of the accepta group are absent.
Adult Structural Features: See Mitchell (1962) and LaBerge 1967) for structural details and keys (reprinted by Discover Life)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing a frontal view, dorsal view, and lateral view, along with estimates of body length.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found primarily in the short-grass prairie region west to eastern California (see range map in LaBerge, 1967 and Discover Life). Recorded only sparsely along the Atlantic Seaboard and North Carolina records come only from the vicinity of Burgaw in Pender County
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: North Carolina records are all from October. Fowler and Droege (accessed 2019 also note that accepta is a fall-flying species.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Mitchell collected a number of specimens of this species on two dates in 1954 and on one in 1957, all from the vicinity of Burgaw and all from Helianthus. The specimen labels mention the savanna at Burgaw as the collection site, undoubtedly referring to famous Burgaw Savanna described by B.W. Wells (and a popular spot for insect collecting). That indicates that this species might have been a savanna specialist, at least in North Carolina (its main stronghold appears to be the prairies of the Midwest).
Larval Host Plants: LaBerge (1967) states that "A. accepta is an oligolege of Compositae, especially of the genus Helianthus." In a table summarizing floral records for this species, a total of 320 individuals were recorded from Helianthus with only 17 recorded from Grindelia and only 13 from Silphium, the next two most recorded species. Fowler and Droege (accessed 2019-12-10) also list this species as oligolectic on Asteraceae species, including Helianthus. In North Carolina, all of Mitchell's specimens were collected on Helianthus angustifolius (Mitchell, 1960). That species occurs primarily in fairly wet, open areas, including savannas, the edges of beaver ponds, and other marshy areas.
Observation Methods: Visible at flowers and around nest sites; probably can be collected using the colored bowl method.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [SH]
State Protection: Insects are not included on the list of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species in North Carolina and consequently have no statewide protection from take. Populations on State Parks, Game Lands, and other protected conservation lands, however, may require permits in order to collect them.
Comments: Considered Rare in the East by Fowler and Droege (accessed 2019-12-10). No specimens from NC appear to have been collected since the 1950s. In addition to the specimens at NCSU, records listed by Discover Life (accessed 2019-12-10) and iDIGBIO are also from Burgaw and may represent material collected by Mitchell. The Burgaw Savanna was largely destroyed in the 1960s (Wells, 1967), although a small remnant still persists and continues to support at least one rare insect, Stethophyma celatum, a grasshopper species. This remnant should be checked for accepta, but until re-discovered, it should be considered historic in NC.