This small to medium-sized Andrena is strongly associated with loose, dry sandy soils in open, heathy situations. The females are quite colourful when fresh, but soon become dowdy. The males, which race over the surface of loose sand in the sun, wear out even more quickly and a bright silver-grey insect rapidly becomes a dull browny-black with few obvious hairs. It is closely related to the similar, but larger and spring-flying, Andrena barbilabris (Kirby). Although not restricted to visiting ericaceous flowers, the heathland flowering period suits this species very well, providing ample floral resources close to suitable nesting habitat.
This species occurs in England and has a strongly south-eastern distribution, but has increased its range recently. There are also records from the Channel Islands.
Despite its very southerly distribution in Britain, it is a northern and central European species.