Lasioglossum pilosum, photo by A. Birnberg

Family: Halictidae

Genus: Lasioglossum

Common Name: Sweat Bees

Length:  3-11 mm (0.1-0.4 in)

Link to DiscoverLife: Lasioglossum

Identification:  Lasioglossum are slender, tiny, long, a dusky black, dull green, or blue, and sometimes metallic, with a band of pale hair along the base of each abdominal segment, making them appear striped. They carry pollen in the scopae on the upper part of their hind legs. They are often the most common bees in a habitat, but may be overlooked because of their small size. Furthermore, Lasioglossum are similar in look to Halictus, but the abdominal hairs on Lasioglossum are at the base of each segment. Also, the veins on the outer edges of Lasioglossum wings fade away, and in Halictus they are thick and bold. They are also confused with Colletes, which have a distinct, heart-shaped face.

Foraging Habits: Generalists

Nesting Habits:  All social behaviors observed with Lasioglossum. They nest burrows in flat ground with loose, sandy soils. Nests usually consist of narrow, branched shafts, with brood cells connected directly. The pollen ball in these cells is dry, with a single egg laid on top. Lasioglossum line their brood cells with glandular, waxlike secretions (some line entire nests).

Specimens in Collection: 353 specimens

Species Observed: Lasiolossum cattalae, Lasioglossum pilosum, Lasioglossum pruinosum, Lasioglossum perunctatum, Lasioglossum rowheri, Lasioglossum heterognathum, Lasioglossum versans, Lasioglossum tegulare, Lasioglossum admirandum, Lasioglossum imitatum, Lasioglossum albipenne

Supplemental Images: Lasioglossum pilosum, Lasioglossum pruinosum, Lasioglossum heterognathum, Lasioglossum admirandum, Lasioglossum imitatum, Lasioglossum albipenne

(Mader et al. Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. 2011. The Xerces Society.)

Back to Main Bee Page