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

Genus Perdita

Mining Bee - Perdita - male - female Perdita ericameriae - female Perdita Perdita turgiceps - male Insect in Mariposa Lilly Bloom - Perdita Bee - Perdita Small bee - Perdita - female Perdita nasuta - 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 Andrenidae (Miner, Bare-miner, Fairy, and Oxaeine Bees)
Subfamily Panurginae (Panurgine Bees including Bare-Miner, Confluent-Miner, Fairy, and Calliopsine Bees)
Tribe Panurgini (Fairy and Confluent-Miner Bees)
Subtribe Perditina (Fairy Bees)
Genus Perdita
Explanation of Names
Author: Smith 1853
From the Latin perdita, "lost one" (feminine of perditus).
Numbers
>530 spp. in 16 subgenera in our area, 635 spp. in 17 subgenera total(1)
One of the most speciose bee genera. There are 17 subgenera(2), 629 described spp. and 125 subspecies, some of which deserve to be elevated to species; numerous species remain undescribed.(3)
Subgenera not yet in the guide:
Allomacrotera: 2 spp., both in our area(1)
Alloperdita: 7 spp., all in our area(1)
Epimacrotera: 15 spp. in our area, 24 spp. total(1)
Glossoperdita: 3 spp., all in our area(1)
Hesperoperdita: 2 spp., both in our area(1)
Heteroperdita: 14 spp., all in our area(1)
Pentaperdita: 12 spp. in our area, 16 spp. total(1)
Procockerellia: 4 spp., all in our area(1)
Pseudomacrotera: monotypic subgenus(1)
Xeromacrotera: monotypic subgenus(1)
Xerophasma: 5 spp., all in our area(1)
Size
~2-10 mm
Identification
Scopal hairs in females are often quite sparse, so sparse that they would be considered indicative of a male in other species. Females appear to always have a relatively long scape, similar to Lasioglossum and the males with a quite short scape.
Males have yellow maculations of T5.

The face of Perdita are very round. They will have the 2 subanntenal sutures indicative of Andrenidae.(4)
Range
Canada to Costa Rica + misc. records in S. America (map)(1); diversity is concentrated in deserts (e.g., the Mojave Desert is home to at least 193 taxa, 19 of them undescribed)(3)
Remarks
Females have short scopal hairs because they use moisture to stick the large pollen load to the hind tibia; males have yellow maculations of T5. Some species are active at dawn or dusk. Some members of this genus are the smallest bees in the world.
Print References
Danforth, B. N. 1989. Nesting behavior of four species of Perdita (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 62: 59-79.
Danforth, B. N. 1996. Phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of the Perdita subgenera Macrotera, Macroteropsis, Macroterella and Cockerellula (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 55: 635-692.
Eickwort, G. C. 1977. Aspects of the nesting biology and descriptions of immature stages of Perdita octomaculata and P. halictoides (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 50: 577-599.
Graenicher, S. 1914. Wisconsin bees of the genus Perdita. Canadian Entomologist 46: 51-57.
Griswold, T. L. 1993. New species of Perdita (Pygoperdita) Timberlake of the P. californica species group (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 62: 183-189.
Griswold, T. L., and F. D. Parker. 1988. New Perdita (Perdita) oligoleges of Mentzelia, with notes on related species of the Ventralis group (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 64: 43-52.
Michener, C. D., and E. Ordway. 1963. The life history of Perdita maculigera maculipennis(Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 36: 24-45.
Timberlake, P. H. 1928. Bees of the genus Perdita in the J. C. Bridwell collection. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 7: 151-161.
Timberlake, P. H. 1953. Bees of the genus Perdita in the collection of the University of Kansas (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 35: 961-985.
Timberlake, P. H. 1954. A revisional study of the bees in the genus Perdita F. Smith with special reference to the fauna of the Pacific coast (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), Part I. University of California Publications in Entomology 9: 345-432.
Timberlake, P. H. 1956. A revisional study of the bees in the genus Perdita F. Smith with special reference to the fauna of the Pacific coast (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), Part II. University of California Publications in Entomology 11: 247-350.
Timberlake, P. H. 1958. A revisional study of the bees in the genus Perdita F. Smith with special reference to the fauna of the Pacific coast (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), Part III. University of California Publications in Entomology 14: 303-410.
Timberlake, P. H. 1960. A revisional study of the bees in the genus Perdita F. Smith with special reference to the fauna of the Pacific coast (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), Part IV. University of California Publications in Entomology 17: 1-156.
Timberlake, P. H. 1962. A revisional study of the bees in the genus Perdita F. Smith with special reference to the fauna of the Pacific coast (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), Part V. University of California Publications in Entomology 28: 1-107.
Timberlake, P. H. 1964. A revisional study of the bees in the genus Perdita F. Smith with special reference to the fauna of the Pacific coast (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), Part VI. University of California Publications in Entomology 28: 125-387.
Timberlake, P. H. 1968. A revisional study of the bees in the genus Perdita F. Smith with special reference to the fauna of the Pacific coast (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), Part VII (including index to parts I to VII). University of California Publications in Entomology 49: 1-196.
Timberlake, P. H. 1971. Supplementary studies on the systematics of the genus Perdita. University of California Publications in Entomology 66: i-vi + 1-58.
Timberlake, P. H. 1977a. Descriptions of new species of Perdita in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 41: 281-295.
Timberlake, P. H. 1977b. New species of Perdita from Arizona and Utah (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 85: 18-20.
Timberlake, P. H. 1979. Report on Perdita in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences. Wasmann Journal of Biology 37: 30-39.
Timberlake, P. H. 1980. Supplementary studies on the systematics of the genus Perdita, Part II. University of California Publications in Entomology 85: i-vii + 1-65.
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Ascher J.S., Pickering J. (2017) Discover Life bee species guide and world checklist (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)
2.The Bees of the World, 2nd edition
Charles D. Michener. 2007. The Johns Hopkins University Press.
3.A revision of Perdita (Xerophasma) Timberlake (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae)
T. Griswold, W. Miller. 2010. Zootaxa 2517: 1–14.
4.The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees.
Joseph S. Wilson & Olivia J. Messinger Carril. 2015. Princeton University Press.