Halictus confusus Smith,1853

Synonyms

Halictus constrictus (homonym) PROVANCHER 1882; Halictus provancheri DALLA TORRE, 1896; Halictus nearcticus VACHAL 1904; Halictus arapahonum COCKERELL 1906; Halictus (Chloralictus) olivarius SANDHOUSE 1924; Halictus flavipes auct. nec FABRICIUS

Description and notes

A rather small, metallic green bee, with white tomentose hair bands on the gaster. Great care must be taken, particularly with females, when separating this species from the common H. tumulorum. Best identified from the male, which should always be dissected to show the vital character in the genitalia.

Distribution

A southern restricted species, recorded only from Dorset to Kent and north to West Norfolk. An Holarctic species, ranging from Spain and England to the far East of Russia but apparently not common; also found in North America. A variable species across its range with several listed infra-specific names.

Status (in Britain only)

Listed as Rare (RDB3) in both Shirt (1987) and Falk (1991).

Habitat

Closely associated with sandy heath and other disturbed sandy situations, such as sand pits.

Flight period

May to September, supported by few specimens (D W Baldock, pers. comm.).

Nesting biology

A mining bee which is considered to be semi-social at least but possibly primitively eusocial, two or more females frequently sharing a nest.The nests are excavated in sparsely vegetated ground in warm, sunny situations. Pesenko et al. (2000) state that the nests are frequently constructed at the base of a plant or among the stems of a grass clump, rendering them difficult to locate.

Flowers visited

In Britain, flower visits are known from bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), speedwell (Veronica sp.), yellow-flowered Asteraceae, creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla anserina), heather (Calluna vulgaris) and tormentil (Potentilla erecta). Some of these may represent pollen sources.

Parasites

No cleptoparasitic bees are known to associate with this species.

Author of profile

G W Allen.

Year profile last updated

Proofed: January 2012