Genus Sphecodes Latreille, eleven taxa

    These bees are parasites of other Halictidae. Previously (Mitchell 1960), seven taxa were known from Florida. This study finds that four additional taxa have been collected. These bees resemble other Halictidae but have coarse punctation and reduced hairs. Unlike most Halictids (except some Dialictus) in Florida, they often have red on the body.

Key to Females

1. Vertex with a pronounced median tubercle..2

sphherignfemvertextubercletop2.JPG (88538 bytes) sphherignfemvertextubercletop.JPG (79160 bytes)

Vertex not tuberculate...3

sphatlfemvertex.JPG (67076 bytes) sphbanfemvertex.JPG (52304 bytes) sphclefemvertex.JPG (78698 bytes)

2. Head and thorax black..Sphecodes heraclei heraclei

Thorax largely red...Sphecodes heraclei ignitus

sphherignfemtop.JPG (50966 bytes)

3. Mandibles entirely simple, or with a very minute and obscure, subapical angle or tooth..4

sphstyfemmandiblecloser.JPG (56180 bytes) sphbrafemmandible.JPG (55535 bytes) sphbanfemmandiblescloser.JPG (61957 bytes)

Mandibles with a distinct, inner, subapical angle or tooth...6

sphatlfemmandible.JPG (58545 bytes) sphclefemtongue.JPG (60121 bytes) sphcrefemmandible.JPG (53640 bytes)

4. Scutum rather coarsely and closely punctate, anterior portion rugose. Sphecodes mandibularis

sphstyfemscutum2.JPG (57929 bytes)

Scutum more finely or sparsely punctate, the anterior punctures distinct...5

sphbrafemscutum.JPG (57863 bytes)

5. Punctures of scutum quite sparse; pleura rather smooth or finely rugose...Sphecodes brachycephalus

sphbrafemscutum.JPG (57863 bytes) sphbrafemmesepisternumside.JPG (63183 bytes)

Punctures of scutum rather close; pleura coarsely rugose; basal segment of flagellum about half as long as broad...Sphecodes banksii

sphbanfemmesepisternumside2.JPG (69978 bytes) sphbanfemantennaecloser.JPG (63255 bytes)

6. Size larger (8mm or more); scutum not at all sulcate medially..Sphecodes clematidis

sphclefemscutum.JPG (75255 bytes)

Size smaller (6 mm or less); if larger, scutum with a distinct, anterior, median longitudinal sulcus or impression..7

sphcrefemscutum3.JPG (72905 bytes)

7. Dorsal area of propodeum with very fine, short striae along basal margin; rounded and smooth posteriorly, head very broad..Sphecodes brachycephalus

sphbrafempropodeum.JPG (69522 bytes) sphbrafemface.JPG (57804 bytes)

Dorsal area of propodeum quite coarsely and completely striate or rugose...8

sphatlfempropodeum.JPG (73528 bytes) sphcrefempropodeum.JPG (70584 bytes)

8. Pleura, including hypoepimeral area, densely rugose or very finely reticulate..9

sphatlfemmesepisternumside2.JPG (57334 bytes) sphcrefemmesepisternumside.JPG (75602 bytes)

Pleura coarsely reticulate and hypoepimeral area more reticulate than rugose..Sphecodes prosphorus

9. Clypeus very short, median length llittle if any exceeding space between margin and antennae, with only a few scattered punctures.....Sphecodes atlantis

sphatlfemclypeus.JPG (63658 bytes) sphatlfemmandible.JPG (58545 bytes)

Clypeus more extensive and more closely punctate...Sphecodes cressonii

sphcrefemclypeus2.JPG (80834 bytes)

Sphecodes coronus and Sphecodes fattigi are known only from the male sex.

Key to Males

1. With 2 submarginal cells...Sphecodes mandibularis

sphstymalewing2cells.JPG (45496 bytes)

With 3 submarginal cells..2

sphatlmalewing.JPG (51538 bytes)


2. Vertex with a pronounced median tubercle..3

sphherhermalevertextubercletop.JPG (70532 bytes)  sphherignmalevertextubercletop.JPG (70220 bytes)

Vertex not tuberculate...4

sphatlmalevertex.JPG (54434 bytes) sphbramalevertex.JPG (48539 bytes) sphcormalevertex.JPG (56366 bytes)

3. Body entirely black..Sphecodes heraclei heraclei

sphherhermaleside.JPG (40608 bytes)

Body ferruginous in large part...Sphecodes heraclei ignitus

sphherignmaleside.JPG (39857 bytes)

4. Segments of flagellum beneath with basal, densely pilose, semicircular facets...Sphecodes prosphorus

Segments of flagellum of the usual form, or the facets very narrow or very obscure..5

5. Basal abdominal tergum well covered with deep and distinct punctures, although possibly fine punctures...6

sphatlmaleterga1.JPG (56872 bytes) sphstymaleterga1.JPG (58823 bytes)

Basal abdominal tergum with sparse, minute, or lacking punctures...9

sphbramaleterga1.JPG (58297 bytes) sphfatmaleterga1.JPG (43017 bytes) sphcormaleterga1.JPG (74349 bytes)

Note on key couplet 5-Some species will key out both ways (Sphecodes atlantis and S. mandibularis)

6. Second segment of flagellum nearly or quite as long as basal segment and pedicel combined; larger (6mm or more)...Sphecodes clematidis

Second flagellar segment considerably shorter than basal segment and pedicel combined; smaller (5mm or less)...7

sphatlmaleantennaefront.JPG (40920 bytes) sphstymaleantennae3.JPG (54942 bytes)

7. Scutum closely punctate throughout...8

sphstymalescutum.JPG (80818 bytes)

Punctures of scutum sparse over median portion of disc..Sphecodes atlantis

sphatlmalescutum.JPG (69772 bytes)

8. Usually smaller (4mm); abdomen entirely black or piceous; punctures of basal abdominal tergum covering most of disc...Sphecodes banksii

Somewhat larger (5mm); abdomen ferruginous or testaceous in part; punctures of basal abdominal tergum limited to median portion of disc, apical third of plate impunctate...Sphecodes mandibularis

sphstymaletergatop.JPG (58663 bytes) sphstymaleterga1.JPG (58823 bytes)

9. Dorsal area of propodeum finely and incompletely striate, rounded and shining posteriorly...Sphecodes brachycephalus

sphbramalepropodeumcloser.JPG (66589 bytes)

Dorsal area of propodeum completely and usually coarsely striate or reticulate, with a distinct posterior rim..10

sphfatmalepropodeum.JPG (74395 bytes) sphstyfempropodeumtop.JPG (69532 bytes) sphatlmalepropodeumtop.JPG (66053 bytes) sphcormalepropodeum2.JPG (74334 bytes)

10. Scutum either rugose or closely punctate throughout, interspaces being less than diameter of punctures, in large part...Sphecodes fattigi

sphfatmalescutum.JPG (70906 bytes)

Punctures of scutum more widely separated, at least in part...11

sphstymalescutum.JPG (80818 bytes)

11. Abdomen ferruginous or testaceous in part...12

sphstymaletergatop.JPG (58663 bytes)

Abdomen entirely black or piceous...13

sphatlmaletergatop.JPG (52018 bytes) sphcormaletergatop.JPG (74696 bytes)

12. Scutum somewhat greenish; punctures rather sparse posteriorly; tarsi yellow; flagellum pale testaceous; gonostyli with a slender, elongate, apical projection directed toward median line...Sphecodes cressonii

Scutum black; more coarsely and closely punctate; antennae and tarsi relatively dark; gonostyli without a slender apical projection..Sphecodes mandibularis

sphstymalescutum.JPG (80818 bytes) sphstymaleface.JPG (54033 bytes) sphstymaletergaside.JPG (47585 bytes)

13. Very small (3.5-4.0mm); tegulae pale testaceous-hyaline..Sphecodes atlantis

sphatlmalescutum.JPG (69772 bytes)

Larger (5-6mm); tegulae relatively dark..Sphecodes coronus

sphcormalescutum.JPG (76629 bytes)


Halictidae: Sphecodes atlantis Mitchell

County Records: Alachua, Levy, Miami-Dade

sphatl.jpg (73220 bytes)


Dates: March 26-June 17; March: 1, April: 2, May: 3, June: 1

Plants: Erigeron quercifolius, Hydrangea arborescens, Dichromena sp, Lippia nodiflora (UM)


Female: sphatlfemface.JPG (67895 bytes) sphatlfemfaceside.JPG (55269 bytes) sphatlfemclypeus.JPG (63658 bytes) sphatlfemmandible.JPG (58545 bytes) sphatlfemant.JPG (50946 bytes) sphatlfemvertex.JPG (67076 bytes) sphatlfemtop.JPG (43546 bytes) sphatlfemscutum.JPG (71167 bytes) sphatlfempropodeum.JPG (73528 bytes) sphatlfempropodeumrear.JPG (62229 bytes) sphatlfemtergatop.JPG (49765 bytes) sphatlfemterga1.JPG (49448 bytes) sphatlfemtergaside.JPG (35630 bytes) sphatlfemside.JPG (37318 bytes) sphatlfemmesepisternumside.JPG (49491 bytes) sphatlfemmesepisternumside2.JPG (57334 bytes) sphatlfembelow.JPG (43117 bytes) sphatlfemwing.JPG (41864 bytes)

Male: sphatlmaleface.JPG (54838 bytes) sphatlmalefront.JPG (39043 bytes) sphatlmalefaceside.JPG (59530 bytes) sphatlmalevertex.JPG (54434 bytes) sphatlmaleantennaefront.JPG (40920 bytes) sphatlmaleantennaeside.JPG (38638 bytes) sphatlmaleantennaetop.JPG (43953 bytes) sphatlmalewing.JPG (51538 bytes) sphatlmalescutum.JPG (69772 bytes) sphatlmaletegulae.JPG (62869 bytes) sphatlmalescutellum.JPG (65464 bytes) sphatlmalepropodeumtop.JPG (66053 bytes) sphatlmalepropodeum.JPG (60103 bytes) sphatlmaletergatop.JPG (52018 bytes) sphatlmaleterga1.JPG (56872 bytes) sphatlmaleside.JPG (50593 bytes) sphatlmalemesepisternumside.JPG (67912 bytes) 


Halictidae: Sphecodes banksii Lovell

County Records: Alachua

sphban.jpg (73060 bytes)


Dates: April 13

Plants: Melilotus alba


Female: sphbanfemface.JPG (55036 bytes) sphbanfemfaceside.JPG (49929 bytes) sphbanfemmandiblebelow.JPG (43966 bytes) sphbanfemmandiblesclose.JPG (55056 bytes) sphbanfemmandiblescloser.JPG (61957 bytes) sphbanfemvertex.JPG (52304 bytes) sphbanfemantennae.JPG (48776 bytes) sphbanfemantennaeclose.JPG (60154 bytes) sphbanfemantennaecloser.JPG (63255 bytes) sphbanfemwing.JPG (45951 bytes) sphbanfemscutellum.JPG (50074 bytes) sphbanfempropodeum.JPG (52778 bytes) sphbanfemtergatop.JPG (36514 bytes) sphbanfemside.JPG (38074 bytes) sphbanfemmesepisternumside.JPG (66089 bytes) sphbanfemmesepisternumside2.JPG (69978 bytes)


Halictidae: Sphecodes brachycephalus Mitchell

County Records: Alachua, Levy, Liberty

sphbra.jpg (74792 bytes)


Dates: April 17-May 8; April:2, May:2

Plants: Quercus laevis

Notes: May be parasitic on Calliopsis andreniformis

Female: sphbrafemface.JPG (57804 bytes) sphbrafemfaceside.JPG (63540 bytes) sphbrafemfaceside2.JPG (63063 bytes) sphbrafemmandible.JPG (55535 bytes) sphbrafemvertex.JPG (59471 bytes) sphbrafemantennaefront.JPG (52671 bytes) sphbrafemantennaefrontclopse.JPG (50228 bytes) sphbrafemantennaefrontcloser.JPG (55629 bytes) sphbrafemwing.JPG (44029 bytes) sphbrafemscutum.JPG (57863 bytes) sphbrafempropodeum.JPG (69522 bytes) sphbrafemtergatop.JPG (49417 bytes) sphbrafempygidium.JPG (48393 bytes) sphbrafemside.JPG (44278 bytes) sphbrafemmesepisternumside.JPG (63183 bytes) 

Male: sphbramaleface.JPG (55141 bytes) sphbramalefaceside.JPG (45465 bytes) sphbramalemandible.JPG (56950 bytes) sphbramalevertex.JPG (48539 bytes) sphbramaleantennae.JPG (48238 bytes) sphbramaleantennaeclose.JPG (54892 bytes) sphbramaleantennaeclose2.JPG (50996 bytes) sphbramalewing.JPG (47380 bytes) sphbramalescutum.JPG (55344 bytes) sphbramalepropodeum.JPG (63492 bytes) sphbramalepropodeumclose.JPG (68490 bytes) sphbramalepropodeumcloser.JPG (66589 bytes) sphbramalepropodeumtop.JPG (55792 bytes) sphbramaletergatop.JPG (54748 bytes) sphbramaleterga1.JPG (58297 bytes) sphbramaleterga1_3.JPG (61077 bytes) sphbramalebelow.JPG (53305 bytes)


Halictidae: Sphecodes clematidis Robertson

County Records: Liberty, Gadsden
sphcle.jpg (73635 bytes)


Dates: April 12, July 31


Notes: New state record for Florida. Previously collected in NC.

Female:  sphclefemface.JPG (67040 bytes) sphclefemfaceside.JPG (61612 bytes) sphclefemtongue.JPG (60121 bytes) sphclefemantennae.JPG (42932 bytes) sphclefemvertex.JPG (78698 bytes) sphclefemwing.JPG (64577 bytes) sphclefemtop.JPG (35133 bytes) sphclefemscutum.JPG (75255 bytes) sphclefemscutellum.JPG (76740 bytes) sphclefempropodeumtop'.JPG (73857 bytes) sphclefemterga1.JPG (60716 bytes) sphclefemtergatop.JPG (53349 bytes) sphclefemtergaside.JPG (40259 bytes) sphclefemmesepisternumside.JPG (68692 bytes) sphclefembelow.JPG (55845 bytes) 


Halictidae: Sphecodes coronus Mitchell

County Records: Alachua

sphcor.jpg (73168 bytes)




Notes: New state record for Florida. Previously collected in NC. Only known from the male sex.

Male: sphcormaleface.JPG (58035 bytes) sphcormalemandible.JPG (44855 bytes) sphcormaleantennae.JPG (57553 bytes) sphcormalevertex.JPG (56366 bytes) sphcormalewing.JPG (45202 bytes)  sphcormalescutum2.JPG (68346 bytes) sphcormalescutum.JPG (76629 bytes) sphcormalepropodeum.JPG (88100 bytes) sphcormalepropodeum2.JPG (74334 bytes) sphcormaletergatop.JPG (74696 bytes) sphcormaletergatop2.JPG (51975 bytes) sphcormaleterga1.JPG (74349 bytes) sphcormaleside.JPG (44586 bytes) sphcormalemesepisternum'side.JPG (61490 bytes) sphcormalebelow.JPG (52455 bytes)


Halictidae: Sphecodes cressoni Robertson

County Records: Alachua, Jackson, Levy

sphcre.jpg (73320 bytes)




Notes: New state record for Florida. Previously collected in NC.

Female: sphcrefemface.JPG (74497 bytes) sphcrefemclypeus.JPG (68704 bytes) sphcrefemclypeus2.JPG (80834 bytes) sphcrefemmandible.JPG (53640 bytes) sphcrefemvertex.JPG (66426 bytes) sphcrefemvertex2.JPG (70475 bytes) sphcrefemwing.JPG (56424 bytes) sphcrefemscutum2.JPG (77804 bytes) sphcrefemscutum.JPG (62580 bytes) sphcrefemscutum3.JPG (72905 bytes) sphcrefemscutellum.JPG (64013 bytes) sphcrefempropodeum.JPG (70584 bytes) sphcrefemtergatop.JPG (54210 bytes) sphcrefemterga1.JPG (54588 bytes) sphcrefemtergaside.JPG (44570 bytes) sphcrefemside.JPG (42414 bytes) sphcrefemmesepisternumside.JPG (75602 bytes) sphcrefembelow.JPG (47663 bytes) 


Halictidae: Sphecodes fattigi Mitchell

County Records: Leon

sphfat.jpg (72882 bytes)


Dates: April


Notes: Endemic to Florida. Only known from the male sex.

Male: sphfatmaleface.JPG (65009 bytes) sphfatmalefaceside.JPG (54179 bytes) sphfatmaleantennaebelow.JPG (27395 bytes) sphfatmaleantennaefront.JPG (48459 bytes) sphfatmaletongue.JPG (53550 bytes) sphfatmalevertex.JPG (75441 bytes) sphfatmalewing.JPG (49682 bytes) sphfatmalescutum.JPG (70906 bytes) sphfatmalescutellum.JPG (73647 bytes) sphfatmalepropodeum.JPG (74395 bytes) sphfatmalepropodeumrear.JPG (73278 bytes) sphfatmaletergatop.JPG (48197 bytes) sphfatmaleterga1.JPG (43017 bytes) sphfatmaleterga3_6.JPG (55002 bytes) sphfatmaletergaside.JPG (40107 bytes) sphfatmaleside.JPG (46456 bytes) sphfatmalemesepisternumside.JPG (81073 bytes) sphfatmalebelow.JPG (43848 bytes) 


Halictidae: Sphecodes heraclei heraclei Robertson

County Records: Alachua, Gadsden, Leon

sphherher.jpg (74757 bytes)


Dates: April 3, Sept. 8



Male:  sphherhermaleface.JPG (67319 bytes) sphherhermalefront.JPG (45239 bytes) sphherhermalevertex.JPG (71082 bytes) sphherhermalevertextuberclefront.JPG (60410 bytes) sphherhermalevertextubercleside.JPG (52087 bytes) sphherhermalevertextubercletop.JPG (70532 bytes) sphherhermalewing.JPG (60503 bytes) sphherhermalescutum.JPG (78905 bytes) sphherhermalescutellum.JPG (76877 bytes) sphherhermaletergatop.JPG (46133 bytes) sphherhermaletergaside.JPG (43033 bytes) sphherhermaleside.JPG (40608 bytes) sphherhermalebelow.JPG (40838 bytes) sphherhermalegenitaldorsal.JPG (46630 bytes) sphherhermalegenitaldorsalclose.JPG (50892 bytes) sphherhermalegenitalside.JPG (47794 bytes) sphherhermalegenitalventral.JPG (40376 bytes) sphherhermalegenitalventral2.JPG (38296 bytes) 


Halictidae: Sphecodes heraclei ignitus Cockerell

County Records: Alachua, Hernando, Leon, Levy, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Seminole, Volusia

sphherign.jpg (74939 bytes)


Dates: March-November

Plants:Sabal palmetto, Phytolacca rigida, Opuntia humifusa, Warea carteri, Vernonia blodgettii, Helianthus debilis, and Bidens alba (Graenicher 1930)

Notes: Endemic to SE US (Alabama and Florida)

Female:sphherignfemmandible.JPG (59431 bytes) sphherignfemfaceside.JPG (49593 bytes) sphherignfemvertextubercletop.JPG (79160 bytes) sphherignfemvertextubercletop2.JPG (88538 bytes) sphherignfemwing.JPG (48490 bytes) sphherignfemtop.JPG (50966 bytes) sphherignfemscutum.JPG (82676 bytes) sphherignfemtegulae.JPG (71118 bytes) sphherignfemscutellum.JPG (73929 bytes) sphherignfempropodeum.JPG (74635 bytes) sphherignfemtergatop.JPG (52540 bytes) sphherignfemtergaside.JPG (54112 bytes) sphherignfemterga3_6.JPG (61191 bytes) sphherignfemside.JPG (43418 bytes) sphherignfemmesepisternumside.JPG (77920 bytes) 

Male: sphherignmalefront.JPG (64019 bytes) sphherignmaletongue.JPG (62788 bytes) sphherignmalevertextuberclefront.JPG (72172 bytes) sphherignmalevertextubercleside.JPG (64376 bytes) sphherignmalevertextubercletop.JPG (70220 bytes) sphherignmalewing.JPG (49422 bytes) sphherignmalescutum.JPG (76680 bytes) sphherignmalepropodeum.JPG (73427 bytes) sphherignmaletergatop.JPG (53040 bytes) sphherignmaletergatop2.JPG (60646 bytes) sphherignmaletergaside.JPG (40698 bytes) sphherignmalegenitaldorsal.JPG (48466 bytes) sphherignmaleside.JPG (39857 bytes) sphherignmalemesepisternumside.JPG (68977 bytes) sphherignmalebelow.JPG (40695 bytes)


Halictidae: Sphecodes mandibularis Cresson 1872
[= stygius Robertson 1863]

County Records: Alachua, Leon, Levy, Polk

sphsty.jpg (73443 bytes)

Locations: Cypress Gardens

Dates: March 2-Aug. 20; March: 4, April: 4, May: 1, July: 1, Aug: 3

Plants: Erigeron quercifolius, Medicago lupulina, Melilotus alba

Notes: This is evidently one of the more variable species, with males having either 2 or 3 submarginal wing cells and showing variation in the punctation of the first basal tergum.

Female: sphstyfemface.JPG (59251 bytes) sphstyfemfaceside.JPG (56312 bytes) sphstyfemtongue.JPG (63683 bytes) sphstyfemmandibleclose.JPG (60529 bytes) sphstyfemmandiblecloser.JPG (56180 bytes) sphstyfemvertex.JPG (59281 bytes) sphstyfemvertex2.JPG (62304 bytes) sphstyfemwing.JPG (55971 bytes) sphstyfemtop.JPG (49697 bytes) sphstyfemscutum.JPG (61909 bytes) sphstyfemscutum2.JPG (57929 bytes) sphstyfemscutellum.JPG (55574 bytes) sphstyfempropodeumtop.JPG (69532 bytes) sphstyfemtergatop.JPG (44462 bytes) sphstyfemterga3_6.JPG (46276 bytes) sphstyfemtergaside.JPG (45591 bytes) sphstyfemside.JPG (42668 bytes) sphstyfemmesepisternumside.JPG (66169 bytes) sphstyfembelow.JPG (39619 bytes)

Male: sphstymaleface.JPG (54033 bytes) sphstymalefaceside.JPG (53145 bytes) sphstymalemandible.JPG (60011 bytes) sphstymaleantennae.JPG (42089 bytes) sphstymaleantennae2.JPG (28617 bytes) sphstymaleantennae3.JPG (54942 bytes) sphstymalevertex.JPG (54624 bytes) sphstymalevertextop.JPG (59264 bytes) sphstymalevertextop2.JPG (72520 bytes) sphstymalewing2cells.JPG (45496 bytes) sphstymalewing3cells.JPG (50314 bytes) sphstymalewing3cells2.JPG (32958 bytes) sphstymalescutum.JPG (80818 bytes) sphstymalescutum2.JPG (66571 bytes) sphstymalescutellum.JPG (82105 bytes) sphstymalescutellum2.JPG (60475 bytes) sphstymalepropodeumtop.JPG (76412 bytes) sphstymaletergatop.JPG (58663 bytes) sphstymaletergaside.JPG (47585 bytes) sphstymaleterga1.JPG (58823 bytes) sphstymaleterga1close.JPG (60712 bytes) sphstymaleterga1_3.JPG (65520 bytes) sphstymaleside.JPG (48385 bytes) sphstymalemesepisternumside.JPG (73116 bytes) sphstymalebelow.JPG (38177 bytes)

Halictidae: Sphecodes prosphorus Lovell and Cockerell

County Records: Miami-Dade

sphpro.jpg (73810 bytes)

Locations: Opa-Locka

Dates: Oct. 10


Notes: New state record for Florida. Previously collected in NC. No photos available at this time.