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Augochloropsis viridula (Smith, 1853)


Scientific Name: Augochloropsis viridula (Smith, 1853)

Common Name: Augochloropsis viridula


Augochlora viridula Smith, 1853: 81 [♂].

     Holotype ♂. USA, New York, Trenton Falls [BMNH no. 14.a.1232].

Augochlora lucidula Smith, 1853: 81 [♀]. Synonymy by Patton (1879: 366).

     Holotype ♀. North America [BMNH no. 14.a.1233].

Halictus (Augochlora) viridissimus Viereck, 1910, in Smith 1910: 688. Proposed as a replacement name for Augochlora viridula Smith, 1853 (see notes below).


Taxonomic notes: The names Augochlora viridula Smith, 1853 and A. lucidula Smith, 1853 were proposed on the same page (i.e., Smith 1853: 81), and Smith (1853: 81) suggested that A. viridula Smith, 1853 was likely the ♂ of A. lucidula Smith, 1853, possibly implying that the latter would be the preferred name. However, though Patton (1879: 366) agreed with the sex association, he chose A. viridula as the valid name with A. lucidula as a junior synonym; this classification was subsequently used by Robertson (1895: 118; 1902: 246), and Cockerell (1905: 360) who examined Smith’s types.

Though Sandhouse (1937: 74) subsequently considered Augochlora viridula (and Halictus (Augochlora) viridissimus Viereck, 1910) a synonym of Augochlora cuprea Smith, 1853, Dreisbach (1945: 225) continued to consider it (and not A. viridissimus Viereck, 1910) a valid species. As clarified by Portman et al. (2022) after examining type materials, Mitchell’s (1960: 465) use of the name A. metallica fulgida was incorrect, and this taxon was actually in reference to A. viridula as recognized by earlier authors (i.e., Patton 1879; Robertson 1895, 1902, Cockerell 1905); though Mitchell (1960: 465) had the ♂ (i.e., A. lucidula) correctly associated with this species, he had the correct female (i.e., A. viridula) listed as a synonym of A. metallica metallica. While some authors have recently recognized this taxon as a distinct species (i.e., Stephenson et al. 2018; Cailo et al. 2018; Decker et al. 2020, as A.fulgida (Smith, 1853)), others have continued to use Mitchell’s (1960) subspecific classification (e.g., Gibbs 2017). The recent classification of Portman et al. (2022) is thus adopted here.

H.L. Viereck (in Smith, 1910: 688) proposed Halictus viridissimus Viereck, 1910 as a replacement name for Augochlora viridula Smith, 1853 as Vachal’s (1903, 1904, 1911) classification placed many valid halictid genera from the Americas into synonymy with Halictus Latreille, 1804 (these were mainly treated as valid subgenera), resulting in Halictus viridula (Smith) being a junior secondary homonym of Halictus viridula (Fabricius, 1793) = Agapostemon virescens (Fabricius, 1775; see Sheffield et al. 2021]. However, the replacement name is not required: (from the ICZN 1999: 59.3. Secondary homonyms replaced before 1961 but no longer considered congeneric): “A junior secondary homonym replaced before 1961 is permanently invalid unless the substitute name is not in use and the relevant taxa are no longer considered congeneric, in which case the junior homonym is not to be rejected on grounds of that replacement”. Though Lucas (1917: 108), Weiss-Dickerson (1921: 143), and Criddle et al. (1924: 96) used the name Halictus viridissimus Viereck as a valid species, ICZN 1999: 59.3 is applicable to Halictus viridissimus Viereck, 1910 since 1937 as it, and A. viridula Smith, 1853 were synonymised with Augochlora cuprea Smith, 1853 by Sandhouse (1937: 74). As such, Augochloropsis viridula (Smith, 1853) is the valid name for this taxon.

Distribution in Canada: Criddle et al. 1924 [ON, as Halictus viridissimus Viereck]; Portman et al. 2022 [ON].


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

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

Smith JB (1910) Report of New Jersey State Museum for 1909. MacCrellish and Quigley, Trenton, 888 pp.

Portman ZM, Arduser M, Lane IG, Cariveau DP (2022) A review of the Augochloropsis (Hymenoptera, Halictidae) and keys to the shiny green Halictinae of the midwestern United States. ZooKeys 1130: 103-152.

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Ontario
Ecozone: Mixwood Plains

Distribution Map