What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug identification
Location: Howrah, West Bengal, India
July 25, 2015 12:10 am
Sir,
these photographs are of a type of bee I guess. They were sucking honey from sacred basil flowers. I shall be grateful if you can provide me with further details.
Regards
Signature: Sreeradha Seth

Metallic Sweat Bee

Carpenter Bee

Dear Sreeradha,
Based on its similarity to North American species including this image on BugGuide, we believe this is a Metallic Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae, but alas, we were not able to find any similar images from India on the internet.  We did uncover this technical article including species from the family found in India, but it has no illustrations.  Metallic Sweat Bees are solitary bees with each female producing her own underground nest.  Your images are beautiful.

Metallic Sweat Bee

Carpenter Bee

Correction:  June 22, 2016
We just approved the following comment from Akshay.

The bee in this photograph isn’t of the Halictidae family, but actually belongs to family Apidae.
More specifically, it’s a small carpenter bee, i.e. genus Ceratina:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratina

Metallic Sweat Bee

Carpenter Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Howrah, India

3 Responses to CORRECTION: Carpenter Bee, NOT Metallic Sweat Bee from India

  1. Hi folks,
    I’m an amateur entomologist from India and I photograph various pollinating insects, especially bees. I came across this page while looking for metallic green bees on Google and noticed that this was one of the top hits.

    The bee in this photograph isn’t of the Halictidae family, but actually belongs to family Apidae.
    More specifically, it’s a small carpenter bee, i.e. genus Ceratina:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratina

    Small carpenter bees are easily mistaken for halictids, but like the Wikipedia entry says, the giveaway (especially in the first photograph) is the really long glossa. The other difference is a smaller jugal lobe on the hindwing, although this is obviously a more difficult metric to measure if you only have photographs and not specimens.

    Cheers,

    Akshay.

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