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Agapostemon sericeus (Forster, 1771)


Scientific Name: Agapostemon sericeus (Forster, 1771)

Common Name: Silky Striped Sweat Bee


Apis sericea Forster, 1771a: 30. Nomen nudum.

Apis sericea Forster, 1771b: 91 [♂‚]

     Holotype ♂. Habitat in Americâ Septentrionali [North America] [LINN no. 2923].

Halictus radiatus Say, 1837: 394 [♀]. Synonymy by Day and Fitton (1977: 39).

     Type ♀. USA [presumed lost].

Agapostemon pulchra Smith, 1853: 87 [♀]. Synonymy of A. radiatus by Robertson (1893: 147).

     Holotype ♀. USA, California [BMNH no. 17.a.1271].

Agapostemon sulcatulus Cockerell, 1909: 25 [♂]. Synonymy of A. radiatus by Sandhouse (1936: 80).

     Holotype ♂. USA, Nebraska, Malcom, September [no year provided], by Birkman [USNM no. 40268]


Taxonomic notes: The first use of Apis sericea by Forster (1771a) was considered nomen nudum by Day and Fitton (1977: 39), as no type materials were indicated. Day and Fitton (1977: 39) indicated a more specific type locality of "U.S.A." for Apis sericea Forster, 1771.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAB0974

This BIN is shared with Agapostemon femoratus Crawford, 1901 and Agapostemon obliquus (Provancher, 1888).

Biology: The nesting biology and larvae were described by LaBerge and Ribble (1966).

Distribution in Canada: Couper 1881 [QC, as Augochlora radiatus Say]; Provancher 1882 [Canada?, as Augochlora radiata Say]; Robertson 1897 [Canada, as Agapostemon radiatus Say]; Walker 1913 [ON, as H. radiatus Say]; Criddle et al. 1924 [ON, as H. radiatus Say; Princeton, BC by Buckell aslo indicated, though likely a misID]; Knerer and Atwood 1962 [ON]; Roberts 1972 [MB, ON, QC, as A. radiatus (Say)]; Hurd 1979 [ON]; Moure and Hurd 1987 [MB, ON, QC]; Sugar et al. 1999 [ON, as A. radiatus (Say)]; Patenaude 2007 [MB]; Sheffield et al. 2014 [MB]; Taylor 2014 [ON]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB].

Intertegular distance: ♀ 1.84 mm ♂ 1.45 mm


Cockerell TDA (1909) Descriptions and records of bees.—XXI. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 8 4(19): 25-31.

Forster JR (1771b) Novæ Species Insectorum. Centuria I. Davies and White, London, 100 pp.

Knerer G, Atwood CE (1962) An annotated check list of the non-parasitic Halictidae (Hymenoptera) of Ontario. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Ontario 92: 160-176.

Robertson C (1893) Notes on bees, with descriptions of new species. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 20(2): 145-149.

Robertson C (1897) North American bees−descriptions and synonyms. Transactions of the Academy of Sciences of St. Louis 7: 315-356.

Sandhouse GA (1936) The bees of the genus Agapostemon (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) occurring in the United States. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 26: 70-83.

Say T (1837) Descriptions of new species of North American Hymenoptera, and observations on some already described. Boston Journal of Natural History 1: 361-416.

Sheffield CS, Frier SD, Dumesh D (2014) The bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes) of the Prairies Ecozone, with comparisons to other grasslands of Canada. In: Giberson DJ, Cárcamo HA (Eds) Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands (Volume 4): Biodiversity and Systematics Part 2. 4. Biological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, 479 pp. [ISBN 978-0-9689321-7-9].

Smith F (1853) Catalogue of Hymenopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. British Museum, London, 198 pp.

Gibbs J, Hanuschuk E, Miller R, Dubois M, Martini M, Robinson S, Nakagawa P, Sheffield CS, Onuferko T (2023) A checklist of the bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of Manitoba, Canada. The Canadian Entomologist 155: E3.

Criddle N, Curran CH, Viereck HL, Buckell ER (1924) The entomological record, 1923. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 54: 87-102.

LaBerge WE, Ribble DW (1966) The nests and larvae of two species of Agapostemon (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 39(3): 467-472.

Day MC, Fitton MG (1977) Discovery in the Linnaean collection of type-material of insects described by Johann Reinhold Forster, with notes on the Hymenoptera. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 9: 31-43.

Patenaude A (2007) Diversity, composition, and seasonality of wild bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) in a northern mixed-grass prairie preserve. Master’s thesis. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Sugar A, Finnamore A, Goulet H, Cumming J, Kerr JT, De Giusti M, Packer L (1999) A preliminary survey of symphytan and aculeate Hymenoptera from oak savannahs in southern Ontario. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Ontario 129: 9-18.

Forster JR (1771a) A catalogue of the animals of North America: containing, an enumeration of the known quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, crustaceous and testaceous animals, many of which are new, and never described before : to which are added, short directions for collecting, preserving, and transporting, all kinds of natural history curiosities. London, Sold by B. White, 1771. Vii + 43 pp.

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Polylectic
Wintering Stage: Adult

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec
Ecozone: Mixwood Plains, Prairie

female; lateral view
female; lateral view
Nest structure (from LaBerge and Ribble 1966).
Nest structure (from LaBerge and Ribble 1966).