Scientific Name: Lasioglossum boreale Svensson, Ebmer, and Sakagami, 1977

Common Name: Boreal Sweat Bee


Lasioglossum (Evylaeus) boreale Svensson, Ebmer, and Sakagami, 1977: 219 [♀,♂‚]

     Holotype ♂‚. Sweden, Torne Lappmark, Abisko, 3 August 1973, by B.G. Svensson, on Chamaenerion angustifolium [ZMU]


Species Notes

This species belongs to the fulvicorne-fratellum species-group (Ebmer 1974; Svensson et al. 1977), equivalent to the subgenus Evylaeus (Fratevylaeus) of Pesenko (2007), but is the only member believed to have a Holarctic distribution (Svensson et al. 1977). The range of the species is limited to alpine and boreal regions from the type locality in Sweden to mountain ranges in the south-western USA. In eastern North America, it has been recorded from high elevations in New Hampshire as well as high latitudes (Packer and Taylor 2002).

The DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN) for this species is BOLD:AAB6288, though a second BIN [BOLD:ACF0091] exists for material from the Yukon. However, there is genetic variation across geographic localities, particularly high elevation sites in the south-western USA, but eastern populations (i.e., New Hampshire) doesn’t differ greatly from those in arctic regions of North America (Packer and Taylor 2002). It is possible that L. boreale is in fact three or more species (Packer and Taylor 1997, 2002).



♀ body length: 5.9–6.4 mm; head length: 1.72–1.79 mm; head width: 1.72–1.80 mm; wing length: 4.9–5.2 mm

♂‚ body length: 6.7–7.5 mm; head length: 1.82–1.98 mm; head width: 1.69–1.90 mm; wing length: 4.5–5.2 mm



This species is a polylectic ground-nester (Svensson et al. 1977), and nests excavated in Sweden had a single female (Svensson et al. 1977), suggesting the species is solitary. The species is only known from high latitudes and altitudes that presumably preclude the formation of annual eusocial colonies.


Extent of Occurrence (EOO) in Canada (http://geocat.kew.org/): 3,399,475 km2

Index of Area of Occupancy (IAO) in Canada (http://geocat.kew.org/): 288 km2



Ebmer AW (1974) Die Bienen des Genus Halictus Latr. s. 1. im Grossraum von Linz (Hymenoptera Apoidea). Nachtrag und zweiter Anhang. Naturkundliches Jahrbuch der Stadt Linz 1973: 123–158.

Packer L, Taylor JS (1997) How many hidden species are there? An application of the phylogenetic species concept to genetic data for some comparatively well known bee “species”. The Canadian Entomologist 129(4): 587–594. http://dx.doi.org/10.4039/Ent129587-4

Packer L, Taylor JS (2002) Genetic variation within and among populations of an arctic/alpine sweat bee (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). The Canadian Entomologist 134(5): 619–631. http://dx.doi.org/10.4039/Ent134619-5

Pesenko YA (2007) Subgeneric classification of the Palaearctic bees of the genus Evylaeus Robertson (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Zootaxa 1500: 1–54.

Svensson BG, Ebmer AW, Sakagami SF (1977) Lasioglossum (Evylaeus) boreale, a new Halictinae (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) species found in northern Sweden and on Hokkaido, Japan, with notes on its biology. Entomologica Scandinavica 8(3): 219–229. 

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Quebec, Yukon
Ecozone: Arctic, Boreal Cordillera, Hudson Plains, Newfoundland Boreal, Pacific Maritime, Taiga Cordillera, Taiga Plains, Taiga Shield, Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map