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Hoplitis fulgida (Cresson, 1864)


Scientific Name: Hoplitis fulgida (Cresson, 1864)

Common Name: Green Small-Mason Bee


Osmia fulgida Cresson, 1864: 34 [♀].

     Holotype ♀. USA, Colorado, Rocky Mountains [ANSP no. 2535].

Osmia viridis Cresson, 1864: 34 [♀]. Synonymy of Chlorosmia fulgida (Cresson, 1864) by Michener (1936: 30); synonymy of Hoplitis fulgida (Cresson) by Sandhouse (1939: 140).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Colorado, Rocky Mountains [ANSP no. 2718].

Osmia platyura Cockerell, 1911: 765 [♂, ♀]. Synonymy of Hoplitis fulgida (Cresson) by Sandhouse (1939: 140); synonymy of Hoplitis fulgida (Cresson) by Michener (1947: 308) as a subspecies.

     Holotype ♂. USA, California, mountains near Claremont, by C.F. Baker [USNM no. 58138].

Chlorosmia lawae Michener, 1936: 29 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy of Hoplitis fulgida (Cresson) by Sandhouse (1939: 140); synonymy of Hoplitis fulgida platyura (Cockerell) by Michener (1947: 308).

     Holotype ♂. USA, California, Mono County, Gull Lake, 11 July 1934, J.E. Law [AMNH].


Taxonomic Notes: Michener (1936: 29) considered Chlorosmia platyura (Cockerell) and C. lawae Michener as distinct species. A few years later, Sandhouse (1939: 140) placed these as synonymys under H. fulgida (Cresson). Michener (1947: 306) later recognized two subspecies of Hoplitis fulgida (Cresson), the nominate form and H. fulgida platyura (Cockerell), the latter has not been recorded from Canada. Though Michener (1947: 307-308) noted differenes in tergum 8 of males of both subspecies in addition to pubescence colour in females, he also indicated that intergraded forms existed where the ranges overlapped.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAC5432

This BIN is shared by Hoplitis fulgida fulgida (Cresson) and specimens of H. fulgida platyura (Cockerell) from California.

Biology: The nesting biology was described by Hicks (1926) and Clement and Rust (1976). It will accept drilled pine blocks of 4-5 mm diameter, with depth of 123-133 mm, and hollowed or drilled stems 5-6 mm diameter, and produce up to ten cells per nest  (Clement and Rust 1976). Nest plugs consist of two layers of masticated plant material and small pebbles and/or wood chips (Clement and Rust 1976). Wong and Forrest (2021) studied aspects of nest initiation timing and reproductive success.

Distribution in Canada: Gibson 1917 [BC, AB]; Michener 1947 [AK, YT, BC, AB]; Buckell 1950 [BC]; Elwell 2012 [BC]; Rowe 2017 [YT, BC, AB]; Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC].


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

Gibson A (1917) The entomological record, 1916. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 47: 137-171.

Buckell ER (1950) Record of bees from British Columbia: Megachilidae. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 46: 21-31.

Hicks CH (1926) Nesting habits and parasites of certain bees of Boulder County, Colorado. University of Colorado Bulletin 15: 217-252.

Sandhouse GA (1939) The North American bees of the genus Osmia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington 1: 1-167.

Clement SL, Rust RW (1976) The nesting biology of three species of Hoplitis Klug (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 52(2): 110-119.

Cresson ET (1864) On the North American species of the genus Osmia. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia 3: 17-38.

Wong LH, Forrest JRK (2021) The earlier the better? Nesting timing and reproductive success in subalpine cavity-nesting bees. Journal of Animal Ecology 90(5): 1353-1366.

Cockerell TDA (1911) Descriptions and records of bees.—XL. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 8 8(48): 763-770.

Michener CD (1936) Some North American Osmiinae (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). American Museum Novitates 875: 1-30.

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.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

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

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