Iraq is a large country in the Middle East region that borders both Turkey and Iran, countries known to host two of the largest bee faunas globally, as expected for a group of insects that favour dry to Mediterranean climates. Despite this huge regional species richness, the bee fauna of Iraq is chronically understudied and poorly known, both in relative and absolute terms. This is true for the hyper-speciose bee genus Andrena, for which only 17 species have been previously published for Iraq. This work is the first modern contribution to the revision of the Andrena fauna of Iraq. Based on new specimen collections in Duhok Governorate (Iraqi Kurdistan) during 2023, a revised total of 59 Andrena species for Iraq (42 species recorded for the first time) is presented, including the description of two new species: Andrena (Aciandrena) duhokensis Wood, sp. nov. and Andrena (Notandrena) baiocchii Wood, sp. nov. The unknown males of A. (Micrandrena) elam Wood, 2022, A. (Micrandrena) obsidiana Wood, 2022, and A. (Notandrena) ayna Wood, 2023 are described. Andrena bakrajoensis Amin & Mawlood, 2019, syn. nov. is synonymised with A. (Holandrena) variabilis Smith, 1853. Additional records are presented from nearby Middle Eastern countries, particularly Lebanon. These results highlight the fundamentally understudied nature of the Iraqi Andrena fauna.

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Staff publications

Wood, T., Ismael, Halgurd R., Baiocchi, Daniele, Hamad, Mudhafar I., Bapir, Tahseen T., & Selis, Marco. (2024). A first revision of the Andrena of Iraq (Hymenoptera, Andrenidae), with the description of two new species from Iraqi Kurdistan and additional records from surrounding countries. ZooKeys, 1205, 267–298. doi:10.3897/zookeys.1205.120033