The small and charming Augochlora Sweat Bee looks like a little winged jewel with its brilliant metallic gleam that has a few color forms.
The shiny, metallic green color of this bee is vivid and uncommon compared to more typical yellow and black relatives. Augochlora Sweat Bees are small, with brown wings. Their bodies are shiny and metallic, covered in short hairs. In the warmer southeastern U.S., they may appear more blue or purple in color. Augochlora Sweat Bees are more tolerant of cool weather than other bee species and are visibly active in late winter and early spring. Sweat Bees have pollen baskets on their legs and collect it like other bees. They can sting like other bees, but are very reluctant to do so.
They are generally more solitary in nature. Adults feed on flower nectar they collect, or they steal it from aphids. They can be found on flowers or on tree bark. They are called Sweat Bees because they also seem to enjoy licking sweat off of arms and legs. The salt attracts the insect and allows for closer observation. They are not aggressive and are unlikely to sting. Like flies, one can shoo them away with gentle encouragement.
Females nest in rotting wood, in tunnels bored out by other insects (like beetle larvae), or underground in loose soil. A female digs cells into the end of the tunnel with and stuffs a pollen grain in each one with some nectar. She then lays one egg on each grain. The larvae overwinter and emerge as adults in the spring having grown to maturity by feasting on the nectar and pollen grain left by the mother.
Scientific Name: Augochlora pura
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 8mm (0.27in to 0.31in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.