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Halictus confusus confusus Smith, 1853


Scientific Name: Halictus confusus confusus Smith, 1853

Common Name: Confusing Furrow Bee


Halictus confusus Smith, 1853; 70 [♀, ♂].

     Syntypes ♀, ♂. USA, Trenton Falls, New York, by E. Double Day; CANADA, Ontario, Hudson’s Bay, by G. Barnston [].

Halictus constrictus Provancher, 1882: 202 [♂, not ♀]. Preoccupied, not Halictus constrictus Smith,1853).

     Lectotype ♂, designated by Sheffield and Perron (2014: 130). Locality not specified, likely Quebec [ULQC no. 1018].

Halictus provancheri Dalla Torre, 1896: 77. Replacement name for Halictus constrictus Provancher, 1882.

Halictus nearcticus Vachal, 1904: 470 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy by Michener (1951: 1105).

     Syntypes ♀, ♂. North America, “Amer. Septentr. (Castelnau) [Mus. Dé Paris], de Géorgie, New York, Pensylvanie, British Columbia, au Hofmus. (Vienne), 1♀ et des ♂ d'Illinois, que je dois à l'obligeance de M. Titus.


Taxonomic notesHalictus confusus Smith, 1853 has been considered a Holarctic taxon since Ebmer (1998a, b) placed H. alpinus Alfken, 1907 and H. perkinsi Blüthgen, 1925 into synonymy under H. confusus as valid subspecies, though only the typical form and H. confusus arapahonum Cockerell, 1906 are found in the Nearctic; H. confusus alpinus Alfken, 1907 found in China, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland, and H. confusus perkinsi Blüthgen, 1925 found in China (Xinjiang) and Europe, except for in the higher mountains, or alps (see Niu et al. 2004). Ebmer (1996) later described H. confusus pelagius Ebmer, 1996 from Russia.

From the latter, three DNA barcode BINs (BOLD:AAJ7193, BOLD:AFH7471, BOLD:AEN9591) have been recorded that may correspond to some of these taxa. Three BINs are also present from North America, likely representing the two subspecies (see treatment for H. confusus arapahonum Cockerell, 1906 and below).

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAA2138, BOLD:AAA2139, BOLD:ABX6542

BOLD:AAA2138 (includes specimens from ON and NS) and BOLD:AAA2139 (includes most specimens, from NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NB) likely corresponds to the typical form.

Distribution in Canada: Provancher 1882 [QC], 1888 [ON, QC, as H. constrictus Provancher]; Harrington 1894 [ON]; Evans 1896 [ON, as H. constrictus Provancher]; Vachal 1904 [BC, as H. nearcticus Vachal]; Crawford 1906 [BC, as H. provancheri Dalla Torre], 1912 [AB]; Crawford 1913 [NB, as H. provancheri Dalla Torre]; Walker 1913 [ON]; Gibson 1914 [ON]; Criddle 1925 [ON]; Cockerell 1936 [SK]; Cockerell 1937iii [AB]; Sandhouse 1941 [SK, ON, QC, NB]; Mitchell 1960 [NS]; Knerer and Atwood 1962 [ON], 1967 [ON]; Roberts 1973 [BC to NS]; Kevan 1975 [NB]; Sugar et al. 1999 [ON]; Sheffield et al. 2003, 2009 [NS], 2014 [AB, SK, MB]; Patenaude 2007 [MB]; Elwell 2012 [BC]; Elwell et al. 2016 [BC]; Normandin et al. 2017 [QC]; Hicks and Sheffield 2021 [LB]; Vizza et al. 2021 [ON]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB].

As Vachal’s (1904) type material of Halictus nearcticus Vachal, 1904 contained material from Gerogia, New York, Pennsylvania, British Columbia, and Illinois, it is possible that both subspecies found in North America are among the specimens; specimens from BC and Illinois may in fact be H. confusus arapahonum Cockerell, 1906, so designation of a lectotype is probably warranted.


Alfken JD (1907) Neue paläarktische Halictus-Arten. Zeitschrift für Systematische Hymenopterologie und Dipterologie 7: 202-206.

Dalla Torre CG (1896) Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Volume X: Apidae (Anthophila). Engelmann, Leipzig, 644 pp.

Provancher L (1882b) Faune Canadienne. Les Insectes Hyménoptères. Naturaliste canadien 13: 193-209.

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

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

Vachal J (1904) Halictus nouveaux ou présumés nouveaux d’Amérique (Hymenoptera). Bulletin de la Société Scientifique, Historique et Archéologique dela Corrèze 26: 469-486.

Michener CD (1951) Family Halictidae. In: Muesebeck CF, Krombein KV, Townes HK (Eds) Hymenoptera of America north of Mexico Synoptic Catalog. 2. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Monograph, Washington. Pp. 1104-1134.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Vaccinium angustifolium

Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan
Ecozone: Atlantic Maritime, Boreal Plains, Boreal Shield, Mixwood Plains, Montane Cordillera, Pacific Maritime, Prairie, Western Interior Basin

female; lateral view
female; lateral view
male; lateral view
male; lateral view

Distribution Map