Basic steps:
  1. Answer one or more questions on right by clicking checkboxes. It's okay to check multiple boxes. Then click any 'search' button.
  2. Results appear on left. Click the 'simplify' button to get more questions.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, narrowing down the possibilities.
  4. A 'COMPARE IMAGES' link appears on left when under 100 kinds match. Use this to compare kinds.
Click Restart to search again.
Click Guides to list other guides.
Click here if you're a new user.

Discover Life 36 kinds match:
Colletes aberrans  [popup] male
Colletes aestivalis  [popup] male
Colletes albescens  [popup] male
Colletes americanus  [popup] male
Colletes andrewsi  [popup] male
Colletes banksi  [popup] male
Colletes bradleyi  [popup] male
Colletes brevicornis  [popup] male
Colletes brimleyi  [popup] male
Colletes ciliatus  [popup] male
Colletes compactus  [popup] male
Colletes consors  [popup] male
Colletes distinctus  [popup] male
Colletes eulophi  [popup] male
Colletes howardi  [popup] male
Colletes hyalinus  [popup] male
Colletes impunctatus  [popup] male
Colletes inaequalis  [popup] male
Colletes kincaidii  [popup] male
Colletes latitarsis  [popup] male
Colletes longifacies  [popup] male
Colletes mandibularis  [popup] male
Colletes nudus  [popup] male
Colletes phaceliae  [popup] male
Colletes productus  [popup] male
Colletes robertsonii  [popup] male
Colletes simulans  [popup] male
Colletes solidaginis  [popup] male
Colletes speculiferus  [popup] male
Colletes susannae  [popup] male
Colletes thoracicus  [popup] male
Colletes thysanellae  [popup] male
Colletes titusensis  [popup] male
Colletes validus  [popup] male
Colletes willistoni  [popup] male
Colletes wilmattae  [popup] male


REMAINING (number with state)
Abdomen, S2, length of hair on segment, NOT including the hair in the apical hair band, if present hair length best assessed from the side rather than straight on
 All hair roughly the same length, be it long or short (25)
 Hair in middle SHORT, hair on sides noticeably LONGER (24)
 Tufts of long hair on sides only, completely bare in the middle (2)
Abdomen, S2-S4, color of all the hair including apical hair band
 All LIGHT (32)
 Mostly light, but with some dark near the sides (2)
Abdomen, S2-S4, comparison of hair density between sternal and tergal hair bands
 Sternal hair bands LESS dense than tergal hair bands (26)
 Sternal hair bands EQUALLY as dense as tergal hair bands, or nearly so (19)
Abdomen, S2-S4, shape of the apical hair band to assess do not take hair length into account, instead, look at the shape of the portion of the rim covered by the hair band
 Widest in the MIDDLE (24)
 Of EQUAL width from side to side (15)
Abdomen, T1, pattern of pits in the center pattern on sides and rim may be different
 3. With distinct pits, DENSELY arranged, interpit distances averaging NO MORE than 1 pit diameter, pits may be touching, pit density in comparison may be relatively uniform throughout the segment (20)
 2. With distinct pits, of MODERATE DENSITY, interpit distances averaging 1 pit diameter or MORE and often, but not always, with a high degree of variability in pit density from lower towards base and greater along the rim (18)
 1. With SPARSE, EXCEPTIONALLY FINE, shallow pits, appearing as if essentially lacking pits (5)
Abdomen, T7, color of the majority of hairs at times those with white hairs may have the rim lined with dark hairs
 White to off-white (26)
 Dark brown to black (9)
C. abberans vs C. susannae - Pronotum, the prominent ridge that lies in region between the pronotal lobe and the front coxa
 C. abberans - The ridge extends outward into a thin knife like edge that rises above the surface like a shark fin, the edge nearest the coxa forming a sharp right angle as it drops back down, the entire area largely without hairs. (1)
 C. susannae - The ridge not nearly as prominent, while carinate along the top it is not extended up in to a knife like edge, more like the edge of splitting maul than the edge of an ax, the arc of the ridge is smooth without any indication of a sharp right angle, the area almost always completely hidden by hairs (1)
C. albescens vs C. productus
 C. albescens Malar space just LESS than the width of the mandible base - The long hairs on the femur have side branches but those only visible under very close inspection, these branches so short as to simply make the hairs look thicker (1)
 C. productus Malar space slightly greater than the width of the mandible base - The long hairs on the femur have clearly and obviously discernable side branches, these branches long enough that you would not hesitate to call them branches (1)
C. banksi vs C. consors, antennal characters
 C. banksi F2 almost twice the length of F1, F2 greater than 1.5X longer than wide (1)
 C. consors F2 and F1 about equal in length, F2 only slightly longer than wide (1)
C. banksi vs C. productus, length of the malar space
 C. banksi - Slightly LESS THAN HALF the width of the mandible base (1)
 C. productus - Slightly MORE THAN THE width of the mandible base (1)
C. brevicornis vs all, T2, rim
 All others - Rim completely unmodified or, at most, slightly depressed on sides (35)
 C. brevicornis - Rim indented relative to plane of the rest of the segment, also very most distal edge of rim THICKENED, making the rim appear as a GROOVE, not simply a depressed rim (1)
C. brimleyi vs C. banksi - Scutum, pit density in the most densely pitted areas - Be careful on this one, these two species are remarkably similar
 C. banksi - Pits separated by to ONE pit diameter there should be many interpit distances of one full pit diameter (1)
 C. brimleyi - Pits separated by no more than pit diameter there should be few, IF ANY, interpit distances of one full pit diameter (1)
C. brimleyi vs C. distinctus
 C. brimleyi - Malar space about half to two-thirds as long as the width of the base of the mandibles - Hairs basad of the white apical hair band on T3 are dark colored - The long plumose hairs that line the rim of S3 are relatively uniform in height varying little across the rim except decreasing somewhat in the center - Pits on T2 mostly not touching (1)
 C. distinctus - Malar space as long or a bit longer than the width of the base of the mandibles - Hairs basad of the white apical hair band on T3 are light colored - The long plumose hairs that line the rim of S3 vary DRAMATICALLY in height across the rim, increasing from the edges to a point and then decreasing to a minute, to near absent, size in the center, thus the overall pattern looks like two large lateral triangles of hair emerging from the rim - Pits on T2 mostly touching (1)
C. consors vs C. thoracicus
 C. consors Distance between the bottom of the eye and the hinge of the mandible less than half the width of the mandible at its base Clearly smaller in comparison Hair on scutum off-white (1)
 C. thoracicus - Distance between the bottom of the eye and the hinge of the mandible a little bit less than or about the same width of the mandible at its base Clearly larger in comparison Hair on scutum with a yellowish tinge (1)
C. consors vs. C. productus
 L. consors - Hind basitarsus relatively broad, 3-4 times as long as wide F2 about at long or only slightly longer than F1, about as long as wide Not known to specialize on a plant genus primarily a northern species (1)
 L. productus - Hind basitarsus relatively narrow, over 4 times as long as wide F2 almost 2 times as long as F1, clearly longer that wide Lyonia specialist primarily a southern species (1)
C. howardi, C. robertsonii, C. wilmattae
 C. howardi Hind femur brown-red - Distance between the bottom of the eye and the hinge of the mandible MODERATE, a little bit less than or about the same as HALF the width of the MANDIBLE at its base - T2 with pits touching with no space inbetween showing T7 with extremely short hairs only 4-7 times their width (1)
 C. robertsonii Hind femur brown-red - Distance between the bottom of the eye and the hinge of the mandible TINY, a little bit less than or about the same width as that of the HINGE ITSELF of the mandible at its base T2 with pits dense and some may be touching but there are clear shiny spaces inbetween most of the pits and if your eyes are sharp you will see very minute pin pricks of pits inbetween the larger pits T7 with moderately long hair many many times longer than wide (1)
 C. wilmattae Hind femur yellow-orange - Distance between the bottom of the eye and the hinge of the mandible MODERATE TO TINY, far less than half the width of the mandible at its base, but greater than the width of the hinge itself T2 with pits touching with no space inbetween showing - T7 with moderately long hair many many times longer than wide (1)
C. hyalinus, C. eulophi, C. kincaidii - T3-T4, color of hair on main portion of segment above apical hair band
 C. eulophi and C. kincaidii - Mostly DARK (2)
 C. hyalinus - All or very nearly all LIGHT (1)
C. impunctatus, C. distinctus, C. banksi, C. brimleyi, C. hyalinus, malar space, distance from end of eye to mid point of mandible base
 2/3 or less the width of the mandible base (3)
 Very nearly EQUAL the width of mandible base (2)
C. inaequalis vs C. thoracicus - Large and Common - Both may nest in large aggregations
 C. inaequalis - Scutellum almost always with dark or gray hairs intermixed with the light ones - T1 very heavily pitted, pits nearly touching one another from the rim to where the segment curves towards the thorax, segment also dulled by microscopic lines - Bands of hair on the rims of the tergites go completely across the segment - One of the first bees to come out in the spring (1)
 C. thoracicus - Scutellum hairs always light - T1 heavily pitted, but not nearly as much as C. inaequalis, pits nearly touching one another near the rim but before the segment curves downward towards the thorax the pits are clearly greater than 1 pit apart, segment highly reflective between pits with no apparent microscopic lines - Bands of hair on the rims of the tergites largely restricted to the sides - Comes out in mid to late spring (1)
C. kincaidii vs C. eulophi - S7, shape - This segment is usually retracted and hidden making it necessary to pull the genitalia in order to see
 C. eulophi - Wings of S7 relatively NARROW, border EVENLY curved all around, hair on head and thorax often with a yellowish hue (1)
 C. kincaidii - Wings of S7 relatively BROAD, border NOT evenly curved all around, but with a slight angle in the middle, head and thorax hairs off-white (1)
C. mandibularis vs C. aberrans - Pronotal angle shape and T1 pit pattern
 C. aberrans - Pronotal angles undeveloped, definitely NOT acute nor lengthened to any degree - Many pits on T1 are TOUCHING, others are separated by LESS than 1 pit diameter (1)
 C. mandibularis - Pronotal angles ACUTE and moderately ELONGATE, may still be hard to see so look very closely - Pits on T1 are NOT touching and are mostly separated by about 1 pit diameter (1)
C. mandibularis vs C. susannae
 C. mandibularis Center of T1 with many pits greater than 1 pit apart, no pits touching Hair on scutum off-white (1)
 C. susannae Center of T1 with no spaces greater than 1 pit apart, most pits touching Hair on scutum brilliant bright white (1)
C. nudus vs C. simulans
 C. nudus - In general slightly larger, less hairy, pit size of greater diameter, pits slightly farther apart - Hair bands on rims of T2 and T3 incomplete with a clear break in the center with no hair but restricted to the far sides - Pits on T2, while still fairly dense, clearly have gaps between them that are much more than the diameter of those pits, upon very very high magnification there are tiny, tiny pits about one tenth the size of the large ones visible (1)
 C. simulans - In general slightly smaller, hairier, pit size of smaller diameter, pits spaced more closely apart - Hair bands on rims of T2 and T3 almost always complete EXCEPT in older individuals, which are told by their worn wing tips, and sometimes have the hairs on the center of the rims worn off - Pits on T2 very dense and extremely uniform, there are no instances where space exists that is greater than 1 pit diameter from another pit, high magnification does not reveal any super tiny pits, largely because the spacing of the larger pits are so close (1)
C. susannae vs C. wilmattae, combination of characters
 C. susannae - Hind femur yellow-orange T1 with upright long hairs interspersed with a set of equally abundant much shorter hairs that are partially laying down on the surface of the segment (1)
 C. wilmattae - Hind femur brown-red - T1 with upright long hairs alone (1)
C. thoracicus vs C. banksi, C. brimleyi, C. hyalinus
 C. banksi, C. brimleyi, C. hyalinus - Smaller, on average 8-10mm - Malar space about half to clearly less than half the width of the base of the mandible - Labrum at least in C. brimleyi, which was the only specimen available at the time of this writing, flat (3)
 C. thoracicus - Larger, on average 10-13mm long - Malar space clearly longer than half the width of the base of the mandible - Labrum noticeably, gently, and evenly convex throughout the entire central portion (1)
C. thoracicus vs C. distinctus
 C. distinctus - Smaller, on average 8-10mm - Mesepisternum, particularly towards the bottom clearly REFLECTING light in regions between pits, microscopic lines, if present, are of low density (1)
 C. thoracicus - Larger, on average 10-13mm long - Mesepisternum, regions between and within the pits DULLED by microscopic lines and tiny pits (1)
C. wilmattae, C. aberrans, C. mandibularis - Legs, color
 C aberrans and C. madibularis - Dark reddish BROWN, tarsi may be lighter (2)
 C. wilmattae - Entire leg a light yellowish ORANGE, not brown (1)
Flight season Month during which your specimen was collected
 6 - June (28)
 7 - July (27)
 8 - August (21)
 5 - May (19)
 9 - September (17)
 4 - April (15)
 10 - October (10)
 11 - November (8)
 3 - March (8)
 1 - January (1)
 12 - December (1)
 2 - February (1)
Head, antennae, length of F1 vs F2
 F1 SHORTER than F2 (28)
 EQUAL in length, or very nearly so (7)
 F1 LONGER than F2 (4)
Head, color of hair below level of antennae
 White to very pale yellow (34)
 Bright YELLOW (5)
 Off-white with some DARK hairs intermixed, especially along inner margins of the eyes (4)
Head, malar space, shape
 Of even width from top to bottom (31)
 Space narrow at top and much wider at bottom (6)
Head, width of malar space, distance from end of eye to mid point of mandible base
 1. Half or LESS the length of mandible base (23)
 2. Greater than half but less than EQUAL the length of mandible base (17)
 3. 1X to 2X the length of mandible base (7)
 4. 2X the length of mandible base or greater (1)
Hind leg, basitarsus, relative width
 Narrow, 1/4 of length, or less (32)
 Medium width, about 1/3 of length (9)
 Wide, about 1/2 of length (1)
Length of body, measured in mm
 9mm (31)
 10mm (27)
 8mm (25)
 11mm (15)
 7mm (15)
 12mm (7)
 6mm (7)
 13mm (6)
 14mm (3)
 15mm (1)
Species for which males are UNKNOWN, C. longifacies and C. bradleyi VERSUS species for which males are KNOWN, all others
 Always check this option as the DEFAULT - Clicking here will eliminate the extremely rare species longifacies and bradleyi from the list of potential species matches in this identification round (34)
 Check this option ONLY if otherwise unable to resolve the guide - Doing so will keep longifacies and bradleyi in the list of potential matches - In the end, if you really think you have got a male of either of these species, please report it to the guide author (3)
State or province where bee was collected
 IL (27)
 Ontario (27)
 IN (26)
 MI (26)
 NC (26)
 KY (25)
 MD (25)
 NJ (25)
 NY (25)
 TN (25)
 WI (25)
 FL (24)
 OH (24)
 PA (24)
 VA (24)
 AL (23)
 DE (23)
 GA (23)
 SC (23)
 DC (22)
 MS (22)
 WV (22)
 CT (21)
 MA (21)
 RI (21)
 ME (15)
 NH (14)
 VT (14)
 Nova Scotia (11)
 Quebec (11)
 New Brunswick (10)
 Prince Edward Island (9)
 Newfoundland and Labrador (2)
Thorax, METAPLEURA, color of the semitransparent, overhanging ridge - Answer only if you selected PRESENT on the previous question
 Amber colored, much lighter than the color of the rest of the metapleural plate (10)
 Dark brown, very nearly as dark as the rest of the metapleural plate (5)
Thorax, METAPLEURA, dorsal overhanging SEMI-TRANSPARANT lip or horizontal ridge located just BELOW the base of the hind wing - If hairy, probe carefully in this area with a pin tip, may be quite small and inconspicuous
 Lacking a semi-transparent dorsal ridge, the area colored the same throughout (27)
 Present, its rim usually the color of light amber, but can be dark brown (14)
Thorax, scutellum, color of hair
 All LIGHT, white to bright orange or yellow (27)
 MIXED light and dark, may be as much as 1/2 and 1/2 light and dark or mostly light with only scattered dark hairs (9)
 All or mostly DARK with the exception of the hairs around edges which are likely light (5)
Thorax, scutum, color of hair
 All LIGHT, white to bright orange or yellow (28)
 MIXED light and dark, may be mostly dark or mostly light with only scattered dark hairs (8)
Thorax, scutum, pattern of pits in area between tegulae
 Pits DENSE with an average interpit distance less than 1 pit diameter (32)
 Pits only moderately dense, average interpit distance between 1 and 2 pit diameters (10)