General Information … listed A-B-C by Genus

I’ve created this page as a general reference for links and guides as they relate to bees, wasps, and (a handful of) ants, particularly species in my yard or along the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. It serves to help my own education on the diversity of Hymenoptera in the Houston area.

Some of my favorite links and articles first, not in any special order:

B E E S  –  ( A N T H O P H I L A )

Genus Andrena (Mining)

1. Cresson’s Mining Beerare!
Andrena cressonii
“… easily recognized by the weak, but obvious pronotal angle and ridge, the extremely short and wide labral process, and the shiny tergum with distinct, crowded punctures. Often, the hind tibia is orange or reddish.”

2. Jessica’s Mining Beerare!
Andrena jessicae (red abdomen)

Genus Agapostemon (Striped Sweat)

1. Brown-winged Striped Sweat Bee
A. splendens

2. Bi-colored Striped Sweat Bee
A. virescens

3. Texas Striped Sweat Bee
A. texanus

Genus Augochloropsis and Augochlora (Metallic Sweat)

1. Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee
Augochloropsis metallica

2. Pure Green Sweat Bee
Augochlora pura

Genus Bombus (Bumblebee)

iNaturalist’s pfau_tarleton put a very nice bumblebee guide together. Great visual comparisons–with apt descriptions and links to photos–for those in Texas. Here is another guide, TPWD Texas Bumbles, which covers all species in Texas (not just on the Gulf Coast).

1. American bumblebee
B. pensylvanicus

2. Brown-belted bumblebee
B. griseocollis

3. Common eastern bumblebee
B. impatiens

You can thank the humble bumble specifically for your garden tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant; they unlock the pollen from the anthers with their buzz pollination (sonication) technique. Compared with the honeybee — a US import — they are by far the most efficient and effective pollinator.

Genus Halictus (Furrow)

1. Ligated Furrow Bee
H. ligatus

2. Poey’s Furrow Bee
H. poeyi

Genus Megachile (Leafcutter, Mortar, Resin)

1. Carpenter-mimic Leaf-cutter Bee
M. xylocopoides (black, belly scopa, Asteracae specialist)

2. Flat-tailed Leaf-cutter Bee
M. mendica (belly scopa, more stripy than M. xylocopoides)

3. Parallel Leaf-cutter Bee
M. parallela (butt-in-the-air forage, bella scopa)

4. Hoary Leaf-cutter Bee
M. pruina (butt-in-the-air forage, more black, bella scopa)

5. Hostile Leaf-cutter Bee
M. inimica (butt-in-the-air forage, rounder, longer thorax)

6. Thumbed Leaf-cutter Bee
M. policaris (link includes description and forage)

7. Sculptured Resin Bee … invasive!
M. sculpturalis

8. Pugnacious Leaf-cutter Bee
M. pugnata

9. White-footed Leaf-cutter Bee
M. albitarsis (as the name would suggest!)

Genus Melissodes and Svastra (Long-horned)

1. Two-spotted Longhorn
M. bimaculatus

2. Oblique Longhorn (Sunflower Bee)
S. obliqua

3. Brown-winged Longhorn
M. comptoides

Genus Ptilothrix (Hibiscus)

1. Hibiscus Turret Bee
P. bombiformis

Genus Triepeolus (Cuckoo)

1. Lunate Longhorn Cuckoo Bee
T. lunatus

2. Concave Cuckoo Bee
T. concavus

Genus Xylocopa (Carpenter) and Mimics

1. Eastern Carpenter Bee
X. virginica

2. Southern Carpenter Bee
X. micans

3. Horsefly-like Carpenter Bee
X. tabaniformis

4. Strand’s Carpenter Bee
X. strandi

5. Michener’s Carpenter Bee
X. micheneri

6. Parkinson’s Carpenter Bee
X. tabaniformis parkinsoniae

W A S P S  –

Genus Polistes (Paper Wasp)


Genera Eumenes, Monobla, Pseudodynerus, Pachodynerus, Zethus (Potter and Mason Wasps)

Red-marked Pachodynerus Wasp

Fraternal Potter Wasp

Four-toothed Mason Wasp

‘Little Blackie’ (my name)
Euodynerus megaera

Zethus spinipes

Euodynerus bidens

Euodynerus hidalgo