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Hoplitis albifrons argentifrons (Cresson, 1864)


Scientific Name: Hoplitis albifrons argentifrons (Cresson, 1864)

Common Name: Silver-fronted Small-Mason Bee


Monumetha argentifrons Cresson, 1864: 387 [♂]. Synonymy by Michener (1947a: 185), as a subspecies of Hoplitis albifrons (Kirby, 1837).

     Lectotype ♂, designated by Cresson (1916: 111). USA, Colorado, Pike’s Peak [ANSP no. 2254].           


Taxonomic notes: The ♀ was descrubed by Michener (1947b: 303).

Though Michener (1947a, 1947b) considered Hoplitis argentifrons (Cresson, 1864) a valid subspecies of H. albifrons (Kirby, 1837) based on the larger proportion of dark pubescence on the face and dorsum of thorax in the female, it is clear that it is a highly variable, imtermediate taxon with some specimens approaching the fully melanic Hoplitis albifrons maura (Cresson, 1878) from California and Oregon, and some approaching the paler typical form, the latter is evidenced in the list of synonyms provided by Michener (1947b: 303), it is clear that this and the typical form (and its synonymies) have been used interchangeably in the past. Cresson (1864: 389) even suggested that his Monumetha borealis Cresson, 1864 might be the female for H. argentifrons, though its type locality in northern Canada supports the synonymy under H. albifrons. Titus (1906: 159) felt that Monumentha argentifrons was a synonym of M. albifrons (Kirby).

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAB7508

This BIN is shared with Hoplitis albifrons albifrons (Kirby, 1837).

Distribution in Canada: Michener 1947 (BC, AB); Hurd and Michener 1955 [BC, AB]; Rowe 2017 [BC]; Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC].

According to Michener (1947b: 302), in Canada H. albifrons argentifrons is found in southwestern Alberta and the southern half of British Columbia, while the typical form occurs east of the Rocky Mountains and into the north, though intermediate forms are known.


Sheffield CS, Heron JM (2019) The bees of British Columbia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes). Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 115: 44-85.

Cresson ET (1916) The Cresson types of Hymenoptera. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 1: 1-141.

Hurd PD, Michener CD (1955) The megachiline bees of California. Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 3: 1-247.

Cresson ET (1864) On the North American species of several genera of Apidae. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia 2: 373-411.

Michener CD (1947b) A revision of the American species of Hoplitis (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 89(4): 257-318.

Rowe G (2017) A taxonomic revision of the Canadian non-Osmia Osmiini (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). MSc Thesis, York University, Toronto. xv + 321 pp.

Michener CD (1947a) A character analysis of a solitary bee, Hoplitis albifrons (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae). Evolution 1(3): 172: 185.

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Cavity Renter
Pollen Specialization: Polylectic
Wintering Stage: Mature Larva

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia
Ecozone: Montane Cordillera, Pacific Maritime, Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map