Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Halictidae - Sweat, Furrow, Nomiine, and Shortface Bees

Sweat Bee - Tribe Augochlorini - Augochlorella - female bee - Sphecodes davisii - female Bee - Halictus poeyi green bug on thistle - Agapostemon Bee 5381 & 5383 - Halictus rubicundus bee - Halictus ligatus - male Small bee - Halictus - Halictus Lasioglossum
Classification
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, Furrow, Nomiine, and Shortface Bees)
Explanation of Names
Some species are attracted to sweat.
Numbers
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 HALICTINAE
Subfamily NOMIINAE Dieunomia (subgenera Dieunomia, Epinomia), Nomia (subgenus Acunomia)
Subfamily ROPHITINAE
Size
4-11 mm
Identification
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)

OVERVIEW OF GENERA








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).
Remarks
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.