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Augochlora Sweat Bee (Augochlora pura)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Augochlora Sweat Bee



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The small and charming Augochlora Sweat Bee looks like a little winged jewel with its brilliant metallic gleam that has a few color forms.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Shiny insect icon
Insect stinger icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Halictidae
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          Genus: Augochlora
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            Species: pura
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Augochlora pura
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 8mm (0.27" to 0.31")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; black, blue
Descriptors: shiny, metallic, green, flying, stinging
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 7mm (0.3in) and 8mm (0.3in)
Lo: 7mm
Md: 7.5mm
Hi: 8mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Augochlora Sweat Bee may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Augochlora Sweat Bee. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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