Can anyone ID this insect in flight

racketman

Arachnopeon
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Mar 17, 2007
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looking through my books I suspect its a bee of the Apoidea family - maybe Sphecodes spinulosus?
Photo was taken in my garden in SW London in august of last year if that helps.

 

lucanidae

Arachnoprince
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Apoidea is the superfamily that contains all of the bees. The species you listed is in the family Halictidae, but I don't believe the specimen in the picture is a Halictid. Rather, I would venture to guess it is in the family Apidae (huge family) in the tribe Epeolini which is a tribe within the cuckoo bees. To make a big stretch I would put it in the genus Epeolus.
 

racketman

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Apoidea is the superfamily that contains all of the bees. The species you listed is in the family Halictidae, but I don't believe the specimen in the picture is a Halictid. Rather, I would venture to guess it is in the family Apidae (huge family) in the tribe Epeolini which is a tribe within the cuckoo bees. To make a big stretch I would put it in the genus Epeolus.
thanks for reply which gives me more ammunition. Will let you know if I or anyone else can narrow it down.
 

myrmecophile

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Definitely not an Epeolus, It looks more like a Sphecodes to me or similar genus. With the taxonomic mess Sphecodes is I would never try to Id to species by photograph.
 

lucanidae

Arachnoprince
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Sphecodes are Halictids that appear wasp-like. They have a thinner 'waist' between the thorax and abdomen. Also, Specodes have reduced hairs, the specimen pictured does not. If we could see the number and shape of the submarginal cells we could tell for sure, but photoshop was unable to sharpen the image enough to do so.
 
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lucanidae

Arachnoprince
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I did check all the known species of Epeolus in Britain and the picture does not match any of them. I knew it was a stretch, but I'd still bet it's a small Apidae.
 

lucanidae

Arachnoprince
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As of 2002 these are the known species of Sphecodes found in the UK:

crassus
ephippius
geoffrellus
ferruginatus
gibbus
hyalinatus
minatus
molinicornis
niger
pellucidus
puncticeps
reticulatus
rubicundis

None of these species appear similar at all to the picture specimen, however they do all resemble each other. If it was a Halictid and not a Specodes I think it would be shinier as the family is known for.
 

lucanidae

Arachnoprince
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My last guesses are Lasioglossum and Nomada both of the genera are very speciose in the UK....Nomada being highly unlikely and Lasioglossum seeming to fit the characters decently well. Other than that I can't find any other genera of Apidae that seem similar to the pictured specimen.
 

racketman

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okay, jury is out on this one. Shame I couldn't get a stationary shot. Thanks for looking anyway.
 

Mat

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Hi there.

Nice picture of a bee in flight, but not one of a male Sphecodes.

Most of the UK species of Sphecodes look pretty similar, essentially 'black and red' jobs, apart from Sphecodes niger which is all black. Its not an Epeolus species either, the 2 UK species of these are a different shape (more rounded & 'chunky') and have very distinctive colour patterns on the body.

What you have is a picture of a male Lasioglossum, almost certainly Lasioglossum calceatum. This is probably the the most common of the larger Lasioglossum species in the UK, though L.albipes can look very similar from a distance.

If you are interested in UK bees and wasps a good site to visit is the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society (BWARS) at http://www.bwars.com/. Here is a picture of a male L.calceatum that is up on the BWARS site - looks a pretty good match. http://www.bwars.com/Lasioglossum_calceatum.htm

Regards

Matt
 

myrmecophile

Arachnolord
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MMM I would have to say that Lasioglossum calceatum is a good bet. I was basing my guess on my experience with U. S. fauna where we have a several Sphecodes similar to this one. The flip side of that being I have never seen a Lasioglossum that looks like that here. Many thanks
I learned something today.
 
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