Halictidae: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lipotriches sp male
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Apocrita
Superfamily: Apoidea
Family: Halictidae
  • Halictinae
  • Nomiinae
  • Nomioidinae
  • Rophitinae

Halictidae is a cosmopolitan family of the order Hymenoptera consisting of small (> 4 mm) to midsize (> 8 mm) bees which are usually dark-colored and often metallic in appearance. Several species are all or partly green and a few are red; a number of them have yellow markings, especially the males, which commonly possess yellow faces, a pattern widespread among the various families of bees. They are commonly referred to as sweat bees (especially the smaller species), as they are often attracted to perspiration; when pinched, females can give a minor sting.


Systematics and evolution

Halictidae belong to the Hymenopteran superfamily Apoidea, series Anthophila. The oldest fossil record of Halictidae dates back to Early Eocene[1]. Currently, the family is divided into four subfamilies, many genera and more than 2000 known species. Rophitinae appears to be the sister group to the remaining three subfamilies (Nomiinae, Nomioidinae, Halictinae) based on both morphology and molecular data.[2]


  • Conanthalictus
  • Dufourea
  • Micralictoides
  • Protodufourea
  • Sphecodosoma
  • Xeralictus



  • Cellariella
  • Ceylalictus
  • Nomioides


  • Agapostemon
  • Andinaugochlora
  • Ariphanarthra
  • Augochlora
  • Augochlorella
  • Augochloropsis
  • Dialictus
  • Evylaeus
  • Halictus
  • Lasioglossum
  • Mexalictus
  • Sphecodes
  • Temnosoma


Most halictids nest in the ground, though a few nest in wood, and they mass-provision their young (a mass of pollen and nectar is formed inside a waterproof cell, an egg laid upon it, and the cell is sealed off, so the larva is given all of its food at one time, as opposed to "progressive provisioning", where a larva is fed repeatedly as it grows, as in honey bees). All species are pollen feeders and may be important pollinators.


Eusocial species

Many species in the subfamily Halictinae are eusocial at least in part, with fairly well-defined queen and worker castes (though not the same as the caste system in honey bees), and certain manifestations of their social behavior appear to be facultative in various lineages.

Cleptoparasitic species

Several other genera and species of halictids are cleptoparasites of other bees (mostly other halictids), and the behavior has evolved at least nine times independently within the family. The most well-known and common are species in the genus Sphecodes, which are somewhat wasp-like in appearance (often shining black with blood-red abdomen- German: Blutbienen - usually 4-9 mm in body length); the female Sphecodes enters the cell with the provision mass, eats the host egg, and lays an egg of her own in its place.

"Nocturnal" species

Halictidae are one of the four bee families that contain some species that are crepuscular; these halictids are active only at dusk or in the early evening, and therefore technically considered "vespertine" (e.g. in the subgenus Sphecodogastra of Lasioglossum), or sometimes truly nocturnal (e.g. in the genus Megalopta). These bees, as is typical in such cases, have greatly enlarged ocelli. The other families with some crepuscular species are Andrenidae, Colletidae, and Apidae.

External links


  1. ^ Engel,M.S, Archibald,S.B. An Early Eocene bee (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) from Quilchena, British Columbia. The Canadian Entomologist, Vol. 135, No. 1, 2003
  2. ^ Patiny,S et al., Phylogenetic relationships and host-plant evolution within the basal clade of Halictidae (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). Cladistics 24 (2008) 255–269


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Halictus scabiose


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Cladus: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Cladus: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Hymenopterida
Ordo: Hymenoptera
Subordo: Apocrita
Superfamilia: Apoidea
Familia: Halictidae
Subfamiliae: Halictinae - Nomiinae - Nomioidinae - Rophitinae


  • Danforth, B.N.; Eardley, C.; Packer, L.; Walker, K.; Pauly, A.; Randrianambinintsoa, F.J. 2008: Phylogeny of Halictidae with an emphasis on endemic African Halictinae. Apidologie, 39: 86-101. doi: 10.1051/apido:2008002


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address