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Genus Hylaeus - Masked Bees

Bee - Hylaeus Tiny black and white bee on goldenrod - Hylaeus Hylaeus Masked Bee - Hylaeus Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps - Hylaeus ornatus Small bee on Lobelia siphilitica - Hylaeus modestus Panurginus? - Hylaeus is this an Eastern Masked Bee (Hylaeus affinis)? - Hylaeus modestus - male
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 Colletidae (Cellophane or Plasterer, Masked, and Fork-tongued Bees)
Genus Hylaeus (Masked Bees)
Other Common Names
Yellow-faced or Yellow-masked Bees is less appropriate for the genus as a whole as a large proportion of species have white masks (and other markings), not yellow.
Pronunciation
hi-LEE-us
Explanation of Names
Hylaeus Fabricius 1793
Numbers
51 spp. in 8 subgenera in our area, 739 spp. in 52 subgenera worldwide(1)
Subgenera not yet in the guide:
Metziella: monotypic subgenus (e. US -map)(1)
Prosopella: monotypic subgenus (sw. US -map)(1)
Size
Most are 4-7 mm(2)
Identification
Unique yellow patterning on face beside the eyes (females) or extending across much of the lower face (males).
No metallic sheen.
No pollen-collecting hairs.
Two submarginal cells, with the second shorter than the first.
Face usually elongate, with eyes strongly converging below. (3)
Range
Worldwide(1)
Habitat
nest in a wide array of preexisting cavities (dead stems/twigs, old tunnels/burrows, earthen banks, wasp galls, hollow pieces of "flint stone", earthworm burrows, soda-straw traps, and nail holes (R.R. Shelling, pers. comm.). H. leptocephalus was found nesting with halictid bees in cavities within an earthen bank. Barrows 1975
Remarks
Hylaeus lack external pollen transporting structures (e.g. scopa) and store pollen and nectar internally in a "honey stomach".
Print References
Metz C.W. (1911) A revision of the genus Prosopis in North America. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 37 (2): 85-156.(Full Text)
Snelling R.R. (1966) Studies on North American Bees of the Genus Hylaeus. 1. Distribution of the Western Species of the Subgenus Prosopis with Descriptions of New Forms (Hymenoptera: Colletidae). Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (98): 1-18.(Full Text)
Snelling R.R. (1966) Studies on North American Bees of the Genus Hylaeus. 2. Description of a new subgenus and species. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 79: 139-144. (Full Text)
Snelling R.R. (1966) Studies on North American Bees of the Genus Hylaeus. 3. The Nearctic Subgenera (Hymenoptera: Colletidae). Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 65(3): 165-175. (Full Text)
Snelling R.R. (1968) Studies on North American Bees of the Genus Hylaeus. 4. The subgenera Cephalylaeus, Metziella and Hylaeana (Hymenoptera: Colletidae). Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (144): 1-6.(Full Text)
Snelling R.R. (1970) Studies on North American Bees of the Genus Hylaeus. 5. The subgenus Hylaeus, s. str. and Paraprosopis (Hymenoptera: Colletidae). Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (180): 1-59.(Full Text)
Snelling R.R. (1983) Studies on North American Bees of the Genus Hylaeus. 6. An adventive Palearctic species in Southern California (Hymenoptera: Colletidae). Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 82: 12-16. (Full Text)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Ascher J.S., Pickering J. (2017) Discover Life bee species guide and world checklist (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)
2.Bees of the eastern United States
Mitchell T.B. 1962. Tech. Bull. (NC Agric. Exp. Sta.): No. 141 (538 pp.), 1960; and No. 152 (557 pp.).
3.The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees.
Joseph S. Wilson & Olivia J. Messinger Carril. 2015. Princeton University Press.