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Augochlorella aurata (Smith, 1853)


Scientific Name: Augochlorella aurata (Smith, 1853)

Common Name: Golden Sweat Bee


Augochlora aurata Smith, 1853: 82 [♀].

     Holotype ♀. USA, Florida, St. John’s Bluff, by E. Doubleday, Esq. [BMNH no. 17.a.1246, NHMUK014024985].

*Augochlora striata Provancher, 1888: 317 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy by Coelho (2004: 305).

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Ordway (1966: 600). CANADA, Quebec, Cap Rouge [ULQC no. 1475].

Augochlora austrina Robertson, 1893: 147 [♀]. Synonymy by Ordway (1966: 583).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Florida, Citrus County, 1892 [INSH Robertson no. 12859].

Augochlora matilda Robertson, 1893: 147 [♀]. Synonymy of Augochlora striata Provancher, 1888 by Sandhouse (1937: 70).

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Ordway (1966: 601). USA, Florida, Citrus County, Inverness [INSH Robertson no. 12247].

Augochlora confusa Robertson, 1897: 324 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy of Augochlora striata Provancher, 1888 by Sandhouse (1937: 70).

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Ordway (1966: 601). USA, Illinois, Macoupin Co., Carlinville, 1886 [INHS no. 927].

Augochlora (Augochlora) Coloradensis Titus, 1901: 133 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy of Augochlora striata Provancher, 1888 by Sandhouse (1937: 70).

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Ordway (1966: 601). USA, Colorado, Larimar Co., Ft. Collins, 13 June 1899 [USNM no. 19459].

Halictus levinasis Vachal, 1911: 107 [♂]. Synonymy of Augochlora striata Provancher, 1888 by Moure (1999: 81); of A. aurata (Smith, 1853) by Coelho (2004: 304).

     Holotype ♂. USA, New Jersey, Westfield, Squirrel Island [ZMHB].

Halictus purus Vachal, 1911: 50. Misidentification. Synonymy of Augochlora striata Provancher, 1888 by Sandhouse (1937: 70).

Augochlora pseudopurella Strand, 1914: 163. Replacement name for Halictus purus Vachal, 1911. Synonymy of Augochlora striata Provancher, 1888 by Sandhouse (1937: 70).

Augochlora matilida Hurd, 1979: 1952. Lapsus of Augochlora matilda Robertson, 1893.


Taxonomic notes: Ordway (1966a: 583) indicated that Smith’s (1853: 82) description of Augochlora aurata Smith, 1853 more closely matched his Augochlora gratiosa Smith, 1853, and that his description of the latter species was applicable to his A. aurata, based on notes of the holotype by C.D. Michener. Furthermore, she indicated that the concept of A. aurata of Sandhouse (1937) and Mitchell (1960) was based on A. persimilis (Viereck, 1910), a valid species.

Sandhouse (1937: 69) placed Augochlora austrina Robertson, 1893 into synonymy with Augochlorella gratiosa (Smith, 1853), though it was later synonymized with A. aurata (Smith, 1853) by Ordway (1966a: 583).

Sandhouse (1937) listed additional taxa as synonymies of A. aurata (Smith, 1853), including Augochlora similis Robertson, 1893, a preoccupied name = Augochlorella persimilis (Viereck, 1910), and Augochlora neglectula Cockerell, 1897 = Augochlorella neglectula (Cockerell, 1897), status reinstated by Ordway (1966a: 556).

Coelho (2004: 304) indicated that the lectotype of Augochlora confusa Robertson, 1897 designated by Ordway (1966a: 601) was unnecessary. However, the syntype series consisted of 52♀ and 11♂ specimens from Illinois, and Ordway (1966a: 601) indicated that the designation was necessary as only 33♀ and 7♂ in the syntype series at INHS actually represented this taxon (= as A. striata), 18♀ were Augochlora pura (Say, 1837), and 1♀ and 4♂ were not at INHS. Though Sandhouse (1937: 70) made the synonymy under A. striata, her statement that the type(s) were in the Robertson collection (i.e., INSH) would not qualify as a valid designation, and not one of the three references that Coelho (2004) cites for this taxon (i.e., Cockerell, 1902, 1915; Michener 1937) designated a lectotype. Coelho (2004: 304) indicated that the type specimen of A. confusa in ZMHB was examined, which suggests that J. Vachal may have received material from the USA during his treatment (e.g., Vachal 1911), though Robertson’s taxon is not mentioned in that work, and Coelho (2004) provided no additional details regarding its status as a lectotype, a designation for which was seemingly required.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAB3782, BOLD:AAG0449, BOLD:AAN2624

BOLD:AAB3782 – includes 99 records from Canada, including ON and NS, and eastern and central USA.

BOLD:AAG0449 – includes 88 records from Canada, including MB, ON, and NS, and eastern and central USA

BOLD:AAN2624 – includes 42 records from Canada, including ON and NS, and Florida (USA).

Sheffield and Perron (2014: 134) indicated that enough variation exists within DNA barcode BINs associated with ‘‘A. aurata’’ in BOLD to warrant further study, especially since Ordway (1966a) recognized many forms; ultimately Provancher’s species ultimately may be resurrected.

Biology: Ordway (1966b) gave a detailed account of the nesting biology of this species, and recorded Sphecodes pimpinellae Robertson, 1900 as a nest parasite (Ordway 1964).

Distribution in Canada: Provancher 1888 [QC, as A. striata Provancher, type locality]; Vachal 1911 [ON, QC, misidentified as H. purus Say]; Crawford 1913 [NB, as Augochlora confusa Robertson]; Sandhouse 1937 [ON, QC]; Pengelly 1954 [ON, as A. striata (Provancher)]; Knerer and Atwood 1962 [ON, as A. striata (Provancher)], 1967 [ON, as A. striata (Provancher)]; Ordway 1966 [southern Canada; MB, ON, QC, NB, NS]; Sugar et al. 1999 [ON, as A. striata (Provancher)]; Sheffield and Perron 2014 [QC]; Sheffield et al. 2003, 2009 [NS], 2014 [SK, MB]; Coelho 2004 [southern Canada]; Patenaude 2007 [MB]; Taylor 2014 [ON]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB]; BOLD [NB]; RSKM [SK].


Provancher L (1888) Additions et Corrections au Volume II de la Faune Entomologique du Canada Traitant des Hyménoptères. Quebec, Darveau.

Coelho BW (2004) A review of the bee genus Augochlorella (Hymenoptera: Halictidae: Augochlorini). Systematic Entomology 29(3): 282-323.

Hurd PD (1979) Superfamily Apoidea. In: Krombein KV, Hurd Jr PD, Smith DR, Burks BD (Eds) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 2735 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.

Mitchell TB (1960) Bees of the Eastern United States. Volume 1. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 141: 1-538.

Ordway E (1964) Sphecodes pimpinellae and other enemies of Augochlorella (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 37(2): 139-152.

Ordway E (1966b) The bionomics of Augochlorella striata and A. persimilis in eastern Kansas (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 39(2): 270-313.

Ordway E (1966a) Systematics of the genus Augochlorella (Hymenoptera, Halictidae) north of Mexico. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 46: 509-624.

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.

Sheffield C, Perron J (2014) Annotated catalogue of the bees described by Léon Provancher (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). The Canadian Entomologist 146 (2): 117-169.

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].

Sheffield CS, Hebert PD, Kevan PG, Packer L (2009) DNA barcoding a regional bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) fauna and its potential for ecological studies. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 196-207.

Sheffield CS, Kevan PG, Smith RF, Rigby SM, Rogers RE (2003) Bee species of Nova Scotia, Canada, with new records and notes on bionomics and floral relations (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 76(2): 357-384.

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

Titus ES (1901) On some bees of the genus Augochlora. The Canadian Entomologist 33(5): 133-137.

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.

Crawford JC (1913) Some bees from New Brunswick, with description of a new species of Heriades. The Canadian Entomologist 45(8): 269-273.

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.

Pengelly DH (1954) Alfalfa pollination in southern Ontario. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 84: 101-118.

Knerer G, Atwood CE (1967) Parasitization of social halictine bees in southern Ontario. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Ontario 97: 103-110.

Sandhouse GA (1937) The bees of the genera Augochlora, Augochlropsis and Augochlorella (Hymenoptera; Apoidea) occurring in the United States. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 27: 65-79.

Vachal J (1911) Étude sur les Halictus d’Amerique (Hym.). Miscellanea Entomologica 19(2): 9–116.

Strand E (1914) Neue Namen verschiedener Tiere. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 80: 163-164.

Sociality: Variable
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Polylectic
Wintering Stage: Mated Female

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Vaccinium angustifolium

Distribution: Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan
Ecozone: Atlantic Maritime, Boreal Shield, Mixwood Plains, Prairie

Distribution Map