• Family: Colletidae
  • Approximate # species in region: 20
  • Common name: masked bees

Hylaeus are tiny colletid bees that are more wasp-like than bee-like. They are named for their strong yellow and white markings often present on their faces, and these markings are often important for identification. All species nest above ground in cavities and, like all colletids, they line their nests with a thin waterproof lining. Females always carry pollen internally and consequently do not have any scopal hairs.

There are nearly 20 species of Hylaeus in eastern North America. The most common species in the region are all difficult to separate in the field. The handful of highly distinctive species in the region, with the exception of H. leptocephalus, are exceedingly rare or highly specific in their habitat preferences.

Species covered: none