Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Transactions of the American Entomological Society Vol. 29, No. 3 (1903), pp. 239-258


Several years ago the writer undertook to determine and lable the bees contained in the collection of insects belonging to the University of Nebraska. After some preliminary work in the way of assorting and arranging the material at hand, and securing literature with which to do the naming, it was found that the large number of the species belonging to the genus Andrena in its broad sense could only be placed by the aid of some kind of synoptic key or table. Not being able to find such an aid in our entomological literature it was decided to construct one for the purpose.

This being decided upon, it was soon ascertained that the various authors who had established the already recognized and recorded species had used different characters upon which to base their descriptions. The use or choice of distinct characters by the various authors when describing their species made it very difficult for the writer when attempting to decide upon the principal features of the proposed table in order to make it as nearly a natural one as possible. After several vain attempts at employing structural characters for the separation of the main groups, at least, all efforts in this direction ceased, and such secondary characters as the presence or absence, length, abundance, color and arrangement of pubescence were employed instead. This choice was made necessary because, as stated above, the various authors when characterizing their new species had overlooked many of the structural characters now used in the limitation of forms.

While nothing like perfection is claimed for the present table as it now stands, it has been a great help to the writer in his attempts at placing the hundred or more forms belonging to the collection which he is working over. It is with this knowledge in mind that the table is offered to others who may be interested in our Andrenid bees. Later, after more of our species that are still undescribed have been determined and characterized, and when both sexes of some known species have been recognized, a new and better table can be constructed.

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