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Bee (Hymenoptera, Apiformes)Hylaeus (Planihylaeus) quadriceps

Hylaeine colletid bee at Glen Allen, NSW

2 images

Hylaeus (Planihylaeus) quadriceps at Glen Allen, NSW - 16 Jan 2019
Hylaeus (Planihylaeus) quadriceps at Glen Allen, NSW - 16 Jan 2019

Identification history

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Author's notes

I'm assuming this is a wasp, not a bee, as it is hairless, and was not behaving like a bee. It was perched on the flower but not visiting the anthers. It whirred its wings fairly often (couldn't catch that in a photo), but otherwise did nothing - waiting for prey perhaps?

6 comments

KimPullen wrote:
   13 Feb 2019
I think it is a bee, despite its behaviour. Might be a Hylaeus.
   13 Feb 2019
Certainly looks similar to images of Hylaeus on the web. We don't have a Hylaeus sp. category at the moment. Should I make one and call it that?
   24 Feb 2019
It is a male, so it was waiting for a female and defending its territory. The wing whirring is typical behaviour of territorial male bees. The spines under the abdomen are also an indication that the males are territorial.
   24 Feb 2019
Thanks Michael. I'd borrowed the latest bee field guide (T. Houston) and had just read about wing whirring in Hylaeus males. I'm pleased you could get it to species. Can you tell me why bees particularly tend to have another genus name in parentheses after the first one? Is it a former name, or a currently alternative name? I must say I approve - so many things cop name changes these days without any harking back to what they used to be called and it's hard to follow what has turned into which.
   24 Feb 2019
The name in parenthesis is the subgenus to which the species belongs. Subgenera are used more frequently for bees than for other animals due to the influence of the pre-eminent bee taxonomist of recent times, the late Charles Michener. He believed that new generic names should not be created if there was any uncertainty about the range of species that should be in it. While study was continuing, he thought it best to create subgenera that could later become genera in their own right. That was a way of minimising duplicate names that might have to be changed by later studies, as in cases like Banksia/Dryandra or Melaleuca/Callistemon. The subgeneric part of the name is not essential and it is prefectly valid to call the present species Hylaeus quadriceps.
   24 Feb 2019
Wow, not sure he managed to reduce the confusion any, but thanks for the explanation. I hope study actually is continuing and it hasn't all just stalled at that point since his demise.

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Nearby sightings

Page 1 of 1 pages - image sightings only 4 0 4

Geranium potentilloides var. potentilloides at Glen Allen, NSW - 15 Jan 2019 by JackieMiles Comesperma retusum at Glen Allen, NSW - 15 Jan 2019 by JackieMiles Viola eminens (Stately Violet) at Glen Allen, NSW - 15 Jan 2019 by JackieMiles
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Comesperma retusum at Glen Allen, NSW - 15 Jan 2019 by JackieMiles
Viola eminens (Stately Violet) at Glen Allen, NSW - 15 Jan 2019 by JackieMiles

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Location information

Species information

  • Not Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 1 Abundance
  • Wahlenbergia ceracea, in a highish elevation (900m) wet grassland. Associated plant
  • 5mm to 12mm Animal size (mm)
  • 15 Jan 2019 Recorded on
  • JackieMiles Recorded by
1219279 sightings of 6146 species in 1174 locations from 3476 members
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