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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Fall Fund Drive


Family Halictidae - Sweat Bees

Another to ID - Lasioglossum zonulum - male Is it...can it bee...Lasioglossum? No! - Halictus ligatus 8007299 - Augochlora pura Halictid? - Halictus ligatus - female Striped Halictus Sweat Bee - Halictus rubicundus - female Halictid bee - Halictus ligatus small bee/wasp - Lasioglossum bee - Augochlorella aurata
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees)
Family Halictidae (Sweat Bees)
3 subfamilies, with ca. 520 spp. in 18 genera of 3 tribes in our area, >4,300 spp. in ~80 genera of 5 tribes worldwide(1)
Overview of our fauna (* –taxa not yet in the guide)
Family Halictidae
Subfamily NOMIINAE Dieunomia (subgenera Dieunomia, Epinomia), Nomia (subgenus Acunomia)
4-11 mm
Small to medium-sized bees, usually black or brownish, a few have metallic greenish or bluish highlights (2)
Guide to eastern genera in(3)

Halictidaes are distinguished by the arcuate (curved) basal wing vein as shown here . All Halictids have short tongues and only one subantennal suture. (4)


Genus Agapostemon - Metallic Green Bees


Life Cycle
Typically ground-nesters, with nests formed in clay soil, sandy banks of streams, etc. Most species are polylectic (collecting pollen from a variety of unrelated plants).
A few species are attracted to sweat, and will sometimes sting if disturbed, though the sting is not very painful (2). Some are parasitic, especially Sphecodes spp.(5)
See Also
Some metallic-green halictids superficially resemble cuckoo wasps (Chrysididae), but lack the sculptured cuticle and the ability to curl up in a protective ball.