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Bee - Hylaeus - Female
Bee - Hylaeus - Female

Hylaeus are a genus in the family plasterer bees (Colletidae) within the order Hymenoptera, the suborder Apocrita, the infraorder Aculeata, the superfamily Apoidea and the subfamily Hylaeineae. This genus has numerous species worldwide. In Central Europe around 45 species are common, and in Germany 37.

Hylaeus reach body lengths of 6-9 mm. Their bodies are almost always black and hairless , which rules out immediate determination of Hylaeus species in the field. . Only three species have red as the base colour of their abdomens.

It is typical for all Hylaeus to have a clearly visible marking on their face, yellow or yellowish white in colour, but on the females this may be reduced to a few points at the sides or to narrow vertical stripes on the anterior eye margins , or this marking can be completely absent. The markings on the face vary from species to species, and this therefore allows accurate identification. Many species have bright spots on the chest and legs. Since their bodies are hairless, these bees cannot carry pollen externally. Hylaeus carry pollen in a crop (a pouch in the foregut).

Hylaeus prefer to live on forest edges, in parks and gardens, hedgerows,sand pits and clay pits. The adult bees are active from May to September. They feed on the nectar and pollen of various plants such as aster, daisy or sunflower (Asteraceae), bell flowers (Campanulaceae), legumes, peas, beans or pulses (Fabaceae), mint plants (Lamiaceae), dicots (Resedaceae), rose plants (Rosaceae), tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), golden marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Hylaeus reproduce either once or several times a year. The females lay their eggs in nests, which are constructed in hollow plant stems, dead wood or often in the galleries of beetles or other insects. After oviposition (egg laying) the nest is sealed. The larvae overwinter in the nests. Wasps of the family Gasteruptionidae are natural enemies of Hylaeus as their larvae feed on the brood of Hylaeus.

Common namesMasked Bees
German namesMaskenbienen
Swedish namesCitronbin
AuthorJohann Christian Fabricius, 1793





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Links and ReferencesHylaeus in
Hylaeus in
Hylaeus in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Bee - Hylaeus - Female
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Masked Bees
AuthorFabricius, 1793
Alfkenylaeus (Snelling, 1985)
Analastoroides (Rayment, 1950)
Auricularia (Popov, 1939)
Boreopsis (Ikudome, 1991)
Calloprosopis (Snelling, 1985)
Cephalylaeus (Michener, 1942)
Cornylaeus (Snelling, 1985)
Deranchylaeus (Bridwell, 1919)
Euprosopellus (Michener, 1965)
Euprosopis (Perkins, 1912)
Euprosopoides (Michener, 1965)
Fasciata (Mehely, 1935)
Gnathoprosopis (Perkins, 1912)
Gnathoprosopoides (Michener, 1965)
Gongyloprosopis (Snelling, 1982)
Hylaeana (Michener, 1954)
Hylaeopsis (Michener, 1954)
Hylaeorhiza (Michener, 1965)
Hylaeteron (Michener, 1965)
Laccohylaeus (Houston, 1981)
Metylaeus (Bridwell, 1919)
Metziella (Michener, 1942)
Navicularia (Popov, 1939)
Noteopsis (Ikudome, 1991)
Paraprosopis (Popov, 1939)
Patagiata (Alfken, 1942)
Pectinata (Popov, 1939)
Pharohylaeus (Michener, 1965)
Planihylaeus (Houston, 1981)
Prosapis (Ashmead, 1894)
Prosopella (Snelling, 1966)
Prosopis (Fabricius, 1804)
Prosopisteron (Cockerell, 1906)
Spatularia (Mehely, 1935)
Spatulariella (Popov, 1939)
Sphaerhylaeus (Cockerell, 1929)
Trichota (Popov, 1939)
Xenohylaeus (Michener, 1965)
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