• Family: Halictidae
  • Tribe: Halictini
  • Approximate # species in region: 75
  • Common name: metallic sweat bees

It’s no wonder that Lasioglossum are often perceived as an identification quagmire by even seasoned bee taxonomists: there are many species of these small metallic bees, most are not as distinctly patterned to the naked eye as other species in the region, and their habitat associations are, for the most part, poorly known. Many of the species in this group are thought to exhibit some form of sociality, with species nesting both below ground and in decaying wood above ground. For now, we are limited to identifying just a handful of distinctive species in the field. But, it is likely that by comparing photographs of live specimens with vouchers identified under a microscope, it will eventually be possible to dispel some of the fear around identifying Lasioglossum in the field.

Species covered: none