Lassioglossum (possibly sub-genus Chilalictus)

20 May

Lassioglossum is a genus of the Sweat Bee Family (Halictidae) and that’s as far as I dare venture with just a picture or two. Even that might be puoshing things taxonomically. There are >1700 species to choose from – very much something for the experts.

They are highly variable in size, coloration, and sculpture; among the more unusual variants, some are cleptoparasites, some are nocturnal, and some are oligolectic. Most Lasioglossum species nest in the ground, but some nest in rotten logs.

The genus Lasioglossum can be divided into two informal series based on the strength of the distal veins of the forewing. The Lasioglossum series (or strong-veined Lasioglossum) is mostly composed of solitary or communal species. Two possible exceptions are L. aegyptiellum and L. rubricaudis, both of which show signs of division of labour indicative of eusociality.

These photographs show sevral related insects, all very similar but not necessarily of the same species.