Apidologie 35: 283-291. Tribe:  Augochlorini Augochloropsis metallica are larger than Augochlora pura and Augochlorella aurata and have broader abdomens that bell outward near the bottom. But it’s so blue, turquoise even! They occur in nearly all U.S. states. Description: Agapostemon are brightly colored metallic green or blue bees. Typically, each species of orchid bee has a complex mutualistic relationship with a corresponding orchid in their native range. Carvalho Filho FS. Identifying Traits:  Bi-colored Agapostemons can be identified by their shiny green heads and thoraxes. Note that the last few segments on the end of the bee's sternum (the underside of its abdomen) are black. Typically, each species of orchid bee has a complex mutualistic relationship with a corresponding orchid in their native range. As with most bees in Florida, females possess a stinger and males do not. They share many physical features and can easily be confused. The closest relative of a North American native bee to make the list is the Tarantula Hawk Wasp, the state insect of New Mexico. Tribe:   Augochlorini, A female Augochlora pura with her legs laden with red pollen. Blue orchard bees are about the same size as a honeybee but there are a few key points that help you tell them apart. They emerge in spring to complete the colony’s life cycle. Pemberton and Wheeler (2006) provide a comprehensive list of important plants known to be visited by Euglossa dilemma in Florida. Family:   Halictidae  (Sweat Bees) Check out our iridescent bee selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops. Fast-moving and no larger than a skinny housefly, these wasps stand out nonetheless: They glow an outrageous iridescent blue-green… The green orchid bee is about the size of a honeybee, and indigenous to Central America. Agapostemon sericeus –  .4" - .45"  (medium-small). Available to buy online at Nelly Duff, London. Order:   Hymenoptera Un nido de. They build nests consisting of deep vertical burrows in sloping soil and banks. Male orchid bees exhibit a peculiar behavior of collecting fragrant volatile compounds from their environment. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders, In addition to being efficient pollinators of wildflowers, bi-colored, These stunning bees pollinate a variety of fruit crops, including melons, apples, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries. Most are about the size of a honey bee, but are brightly colored with an iridescent metallic sheen. [Photo © Copyright 2016 Julio Sharp], A male bi-colored Agapostemon. Male silky Agapostemons have green heads and thoraxes, but their abdomens are striped yellow-and black. Tribe:  Halictini login or register to post comments. Augochlora pura become highly visible in the park in May, pollinating spring wildflowers and the tree peonies in the park's Peony Monument garden. The abdomen of the male Agapostemon sericeus (shown above) is a flat yellow-and-black. Subfamily:   Halictinae 2010. The wing membranes are darkened, but transparent. They are sometimes preyed on by the black-and-red cuckoo bee, Sphecodes prosphorus, which steals into the solitary silky Agapostemon nests and lays its own eggs there. Originally considered to be Euglossa viridissima; Eltz et al. Family:   Halictidae  (Sweat Bees) Though closely related to highly social bees in the same family, orchid bees are primarily solitary, showing only primitively social characteristics such as occasionally sharing communal nesting locations. © Copyright 2014-2016 Paula Sharp and Ross Eatman, unless otherwise noted. Family:   Halictidae  (Sweat Bees) Bembé B. Bi-colored Agapostemons pass more than one generation in a single summer, and thus, they are visible from the beginning to the end of the warm season in New York. Commonly known as cuckoo wasps or emerald wasps, the hymenopteran family Chrysididae is a very large cosmopolitan group (over 3000 described species) of parasitoid or kleptoparasitic wasps, often highly sculptured, with brilliant metallic colors created by structural coloration. Since this arrival, the green orchid bee has become well established in South Florida. This arrival was likely from a nest imported from Mexico concealed within a wooden structure such as a pallet. Though most of these plants are beneficial, there is evidence that the green orchid bee outperforms native bees in the pollination of certain invasive weeds. Augochlorella aurata Augochloropsis metallica bees are solitary and nest in the ground. Genus:   Augochloropsis. [Photo © Copyright 2016 Julio Sharp]. An Augochlora pura sweat bee emerging from its nest. Augochlorella aurata bees are broad generalist pollinators that visit a seemingly endless range of wildflowers. Their legs are yellow with with black markings. By contrast, the sixth sternal segment of Agapostemon virescens (shown directly above in the guide) has black markings. There are only three species of this genus in the United States. In Florida, male green orchid bees are attracted to chemicals produced by certain wood-rot fungi (Video 1), decomposing vegetation, perfume flowers, and certain essential oils such as clove and cinnamon oil. I stepped outside onto the roof the other day and discovered a remarkably iridescent blue bee hanging out on the ‘Centennial’ kumquat tree. Females carry pollen on their hind legs and have distinctive black mandibles. Although females can sting, they are quite timid in doing so. In the summer, the bees can be seen visiting orange butterfly milkweed, wild phlox and goldenrod in sunny areas of the park and pollinating squash and a variety of flowers in Stone Barns' vegetable fields and gardens. Genus:   Agapostemon (Metallic Green Bees) This iridescent bee is found on the eastern side of North America. All bees play an important role in the pollination of plants. It turns out these bees are a wee bit camera shy and it took a lot of persistence to get this one to pose. Functional morphology in male euglossine bees and their ability to spray fragrances (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Euglossini). 2004. Traits helpful in distinguishing silky Agapostemons from other green sweat bees are noted below and in the photos at right. (4) The flight pattern of the female silky Agapostemon is also distinctive -- a jagged series of fast figure eights -- and it tends to come to rest on the tops of the flowers. Some traits that are helpful in distinguishing female silky Agapostemons are:   (1)  They are much heftier than the three green metallic bees shown below -- the silky Agapostemon's abdomen is broader and bulkier, and its body is notably longer (nearly half an inch, compared to Augochlora pura  at .31"; Augochlora metallica at .35"; and Augochorella aurata at .21"). Also known as virescent green metallic bees, bi-colored Agapostemons are considered "gregarious" -- that is,  they band together in communal nests, with each female provisioning her own burrow. This trait at times helps distinguish them from the silky Agapostemon shown below. Identifying Traits:   The heads, thoraxes and abdomens of female silky Agapostemons are solid iridscent yellowish-green. When the cuckoo bee's eggs hatch, they kill off the Agapostemon's young and eat the food stored for them. Augochlorella aurata are considered “primitively eusocial” bees. 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