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Halictus ligatus Say, 1837


Scientific Name: Halictus ligatus Say, 1837

Common Name: Ligated Furrow Bee


Halictus ligatus Say, 1837: 774 [♂, ♀].

     Syntypes ♂, ♀. USA [specimen destroyed].

Halictus armaticeps Cresson, 1872: 250 [♀]. Synonymy by Robertson (1897: 322).

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Cresson (1916: 116). USA, Texas, by Belfrage and Boll. [ANSP no. 2725].

Halictus texanus Cresson, 1872: 251 [♂, ♀]. Synonymy by Robertson (1897: 322).

     Syntypes ♂, ♀. USA, Texas, by G.W. Belfrage [Belfrage collection, specimen not found; see Cresson (1916: 109) and Sandhouse (1941: 28)].

Halictus ornatipes Cresson, 1872: 252 [♂]. Synonymy by Robertson (1897: 322).

     Lectotype ♂, designated by Cresson (1916: 108). USA, Texas, by Belfrage and Boll. [ANSP no. 2118].

Halictus Townsendi Cockerell, 1896: 293 [♀]. Synonymy by Robertson (1897: 322).

     Syntypes ♀. MEXICO, San Rafael, 8 and 23 March [year not provided], by C.H.T. Townsend, on Bidens and another composite. [USNM no. 3338].

Halictus lignatus Rau, 1922: 31. Lapsus of Halictus ligatus Say, 1837.


Taxonomic notes: Cresson (1872: 252) suggested that his Halictus ornatipes Cresson, 1872 was the possible ♂ of his H. armaticeps Cresson, 1872.

Cockerell (1896: 294) indicated that his H. townsendi Cockerell, 1896 was allied to H. ligatus Say, 1837. Despite Robertson’s (1897: 322) synonymy of H. townsendi under H. ligatus (Sandhouse (1941: 27) subsequently treated these same species as “new” synonyms of H. ligatus), Townsend (1897: 36), W.P. Cockerell (1912: 281); Cockerell (1913: 60; 1932: 10) continued to recognize it as a valid species, Cockerell (1913: 60) describing the ♂ from Guatemala, noting its similarity to H. armaticeps. In other works, Cockerell (1899: 128; 1949: 443) treated it as a race or subspecies of H. ligatus, respectively. Sandhouse and Cockerell (1923) considered that H. townsendi Cockerell, 1896 was likely a race of H. capitosus Smith, 1853 [= Halictus poeyi Lepeletier, 1841].

Robertson (1897: 322), Sandhouse (1941: 27) and others (e.g., Michener 1951: 1104; Hurd 1979: 1955; Moure and Hurd 1987: 47) also considered Halictus poeyi Lepeletier, 1841 and H. capitosus as synonyms of H. ligatus but the former is now considered a valid species, with the latter a synonym under it (i.e., Carmen and Packer 1997; Danforth et al. 1998; Packer 1999).

Distribution in Canada: Provancher 1882 [Canada?]; Evans 1896 [ON]; Walker 1913 [ON]; Venables 1914 [BC]; Criddle et al. 1924 [BC, AB, ON]; Sandhouse 1941 [BC, ON]; Mitchell 1960 [southern Canada]; Knerer and Atwood 1962 [ON], 1967 [ON]; Catling and Knerer 1980 [ON]; Sugar et al. 1998 [ON]; Sheffield et al. 2003, 2009 [NS], 2014 [AB, SK, MB]; Elwell 2012 [BC]; Richards et al. 2015 [ON]; Elwell et al. 2016 [BC]; Normandin et al. 2017 [QC]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB]; Discover Life [MB, NB, PE] - NB record on iNaturalist


Cresson ET (1872) Hymenoptera Texana. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 4: 153-292.

Cockerell TDA (1896) Contributions from the New Mexico biological station—I. Descriptions of new bees collected by Prof. C.H.T. Townsend in the state of Vera Cruz. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 6 18(106): 282-295.

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.

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

Sandhouse GA (1941) The American bees of the subgenus Halictus. Entomologica Americana 21(1): 23-38.

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.

Rau P (1922) Ecological and behavior notes on Missouri insects. Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis 24: 1-71.

Moure JS, Hurd PD (1987) An annotated catalog of the halictid bees of the Western Hemisphere (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. vii + 405 pp.

Cockerell TDA (1949) Bees from Central America, principally Honduras. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 98(3233): 429-490.

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.

Cockerell TDA (1899b) Notes on American bees. The Entomologist 32: 128-129.

Townsend CHT (1897) On the biogeography of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. II. Transactions of the Texas Academy of Sciences 2: 22-86.

Cockerell WP (1912) Collecting bees at Gualan, Guatemala. The Canadian Entomologist 44(9): 277-282.

Packer L (1999) The distribution of Halictus ligatus Say and H. poeyi Lep. (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) in North America. Pgs 81-84 in Byers GW, Hagen RH, Brook RW (eds) Entomological Contributions in Memory of Byron A. Alexander. University of Kansas Natural History Museum Special Publication 24.

Carman GM, Packer L (1997) A cryptic species allied to Halictus ligatus Say (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) detected by allozyme electrophoresis. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 69: 168-176.

Danforth BN, Levin Mitchell P, Packer L (1998) Mitochondrial DNA differentiation between two cryptic Halictus (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) species. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 91: 387-391.

Sociality: Eusocial
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 Shield, Mixwood Plains, Prairie, Western Interior Basin

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