This bee is solitary at high altitudes in Colorado, USA, and possibly Italy as well, but eusocial at lower altitudes in Colorado and elsewhere in USA. Its nesting biology is described by Sakagami and Michener (1962): Nest architecture is Type IIIb: Lateral burrows are very short or absent such that cells are almost attached to the burrow walls at a right angle. The cells are not spatially concentrated in any part of the burrow. Nest aggregation information: 10 in one square meter.
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Animal / kleptoparasite
larva of Sphecodes gibbus kleptoparasitises pollen store of Halictus rubicundus
Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
solitary larva of Zodion cinereum is endoparasitoid of adult of Halictus rubicundus
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Halictus rubicundus
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Halictus rubicundus
Public Records: 66
Specimens with Barcodes: 150
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
Halictus rubicundus is a species of sweat bee found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It is small (~1 cm), dark brown, with fine white bands across the apices of the abdominal segments. The legs are often somewhat reddish. The males are more slender, with longer antennae and yellow markings on the face and legs; they are distinguished from males of similar species by the absence of an apical hair band on the terminal abdominal segment.
Its social behaviour differs depending on climate - it is a solitary species in cooler regions, but is eusocial in warmer areas, sometimes with solitary and eusocial colonies appearing simultaneously in the same population.
Nests of H. rubicundus are constructed in the ground. Nests are dug in spring by a single female who typically rears a brood of 5-7 offspring; depending on region, these offspring may be workers, future reproductives, or a mixture of both types. The nest entrance is about 5 mm in diameter and, typically, a small pile of soil (called a "tumulus") accumulates outside the entrance as a result of the female's excavations.
- Yanega, D. (1993) Environmental effects on male production and social structure in Halictus rubicundus (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Insectes Sociaux 40: 169-180.
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