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 41 kinds match:
Sphecodes antennariae  [popup] male
Sphecodes aroniae  [popup] male
Sphecodes atlantis  [popup] male
Sphecodes autumnalis  [popup] male
Sphecodes banksii  [popup] male
Sphecodes brachycephalus  [popup] male
Sphecodes carolinus  [popup] male
Sphecodes castaneae  [popup] male
Sphecodes clematidis  [popup] male
Sphecodes confertus  [popup] male
Sphecodes coronus  [popup] male
Sphecodes crawfordi  [popup] male
Sphecodes cressonii  [popup] male
Sphecodes davisii  [popup] male
Sphecodes dichrous  [popup] male
Sphecodes exaltus  [popup] male
Sphecodes fattigi  [popup] male
Sphecodes galerus  [popup] male
Sphecodes heraclei  [popup] male
Sphecodes hydrangeae  [popup] male
Sphecodes ignitus  [popup] male
Sphecodes illinoensis  [popup] male
Sphecodes johnsonii  [popup] male
Sphecodes levis  [popup] male
Sphecodes mandibularis  [popup] male
Sphecodes minor  [popup] male
Sphecodes nigricorpus  [popup] male
Sphecodes paraplesius  [popup] male
Sphecodes persimilis  [popup] male
Sphecodes pimpinellae  [popup] male
Sphecodes prosphorus  [popup] male
Sphecodes prostygius  [popup] male
Sphecodes pycnanthemi  [popup] male
Sphecodes ranunculi  [popup] male
Sphecodes shawi  [popup] male
Sphecodes smilacinae  [popup] male
Sphecodes solonis  [popup] male
Sphecodes stygius  [popup] male
Sphecodes townesi  [popup] male
Sphecodes trentonensis  [popup] male
Sphecodes wheeleri  [popup] male


REMAINING (number with state)
Abdomen, T2, in the center of the segment, average distance of one pit to the pit nearest it, excluding any bare rim - Measured in units of pit diameters
 3. 1 to 3 (28)
 4. Less than 1 (28)
 2. Greater than 3 (10)
 1. No pits present (1)
Abdomen, T2, in the center of the segment, percent of unpitted region along the rim, measured in longitudinal distance
 3. 15 to 25 (22)
 4. 25 to 75 (18)
 2. 5 to 15 (17)
Abdomen, color - Note, often color can be difficult to define because rather than clear black and red sections you might get smoky, smudgy dark areas with brick red overtone, in these case don t score ANY
 All black (26)
 Tip of abdomen black, rest of tergites red (17)
 T1 partly black, T2-3 red, T4-7 black (12)
 All red, red can vary from dark or light (9)
Head, antenna, length compared to width of second flagellar segment
 2. About as wide as long (18)
 3. About 1.5 times longer than width (16)
 1. Wider than long (14)
 4. About 2 times longer than width (11)
Head, antenna, length of first flagellar segment compared to length of second flagellar segment
 2. F1 clearly greater than one third as long as F2 (30)
 1. F1 one third or less as long as F2 (7)
Head, antennae
 Normal (29)
 With facets or divots cut out of the side of some of the central antennal segments creating a silght scalloped look to the antennae (8)
Head, cheek, presence of a carina or minutely upturned ridge along the lower edge
 Absent (33)
 Present (4)
Head, presence of a very prominent elliptical mound directly behind the ocelli
 Absent (32)
 Present (2)
Problematic species for which only the types are known or whose identification is uncertain
 RECOMMENDED - Drop these species from the list (36)
 DISPLAY these species (5)
S. antennariae vs. S. autumnalis vs. S. brachycephalus
 S. antennariae - Wing, submarginal cell number, ALWAYS JUST 2 - Head, antennae, flagellar segments 7-9 clearly WIDER THAN LONG or, at most, approaching equally long as wide (1)
 S. autumnalis - Wing, submarginal cell number, 3 - Head, antennae, flagellar segments 7-9 about AS LONG AS WIDE - Head, clypeus, clypeal hairs largely hiding the surface - In comparison to S. brachycephalus the striations of the propodial triangle are longer, almost always clearly greater than 50 percent of the length (1)
 S. brachycephalus - Wing, submarginal cell number, 3 submarginal cells - Head, flagellar segments 7-9 clearly LONGER THAN WIDE - Clypeus, readily visible, hairs present but not so dense to hide surface - Striations on the propodeal triangle clearly go less than 50 percent of the way to the rim (1)
S. aroniae vs. S. ranunculi
 S. aroniae - Leg, middle femur, EXTREMELY WIDE, 2 or more times as wide as the widest point of the tibia, the angle formed by the lower edge almost 90 degrees - In comparison with S. ranunculi, the front coxae almost completely FLAT and WITHOUT HAIRS (1)
 S. ranunculi - Leg, middle femur, VERY WIDE compared to other species besides S. aroniae, but only approximately 1.5 times as wide as the tibia, the angle formed by the lower edge approximately 130 degrees - In direct comparison, the front coxae are very SLIGHTLY ROUNDED and have SCATTERED HAIRS (1)
S. autumnalis vs. S. banksii
 S. autumnalis - Thorax, mesepisternum very smooth with little surface sculpturing, mound below front wing almost entirely smooth with only a few pits, at most - Thorax, propodeal triangle striations do not run to rim of triangle, usually a very noticeable smooth, shiny unstriated area separating dorsal and rear faces of propodeal triangle - Abdomen, tergites often with some clear reddish markings (1)
 S. banksii - Thorax, mesepisternum uniformly roughened with clear surface sculpturing, mound below front wing also roughed to the same level as the rest of the segment - Thorax, propodeal triangle striations reach to the rim of the triangle, with no smooth area breaking the dorsal and rear faces of propodeal triangle - Abdomen, tergites, always black, though with some very deep red obscure undertones at times (1)
S. brachycephalus vs. S. illinoensis vs. S. levis
 S. brachycephalus - Thorax, propodeum, dorsal triangle striations, clearly DO NOT REACH THE RIM, leaving a shiny, pitless, unmarked area that extends like a triangle over the rim to the rear face where it comes to a point (1)
 S. illinoensis - Thorax, propodeum, dorsal propodeal triangle striations, clearly go ALL THE WAY TO THE RIM of triangle, there may or may not be a carina along the rim, below the rim on the rear face of the propodeum is a clear unmarked, shiny triangle whose base is along the rim and the tip of which runs about half way down - Abdomen, T1 pitting at 30X, FINE but CLEARLY EVIDENT and about 1-2 pit diameters apart - In the other species, abdominal pits are very difficult to detect at 30X and visible only at certain angles (1)
 S. levis - Thorax, propodeum, dorsal propodeal triangle striations, clearly go ALL THE WAY TO THE RIM of the triangle, there may or may not be a carina along the rim, below the rim on the rear face of the propodeum is a clear unmarked, shiny triangle whose base is along the rim and the tip of which runs about half way down - Propodeum, rear face, striations forming LARGE OPEN RETICULATIONS, these striations are of the same height as the striations on the propodeal triangle, but in the other species these striations are low and obscure (1)
S. clematidis vs. S. hydrangeae vs. S. prosphorus vs. S. ranunculi
 S. clematidis - Head, 1st flagellar segment AS LONG or longer than pedicel - Frons, surface of face below antennae, LARGELY HIDDEN by bright white hair - Antennae, outer flagellar segments farthest from pedicel, STRONGLY FACETED - Abdomen, T2, with an UNPITTED RIM occupying ONE QUARTER or more of the longitudinal length of the segment - Very similar to S. prosphorus, but in direct comparison, the unpitted rim of T2 in S. clematidis is longer longitudinally than the other species (1)
 S. hydrangeae - Head, 1st flagellar segment CLEARLY LONGER THAN pedicel - Frons, surface of face below antennae, LARGELY EXPOSED with scattered hairs present - Antennae, outer flagellar segments farthest from pedicel, NOT strongly faceted, facets restricted to edges of joints between segments (1)
 S. prosphorus - Head, 1st flagellar segment AS LONG or longer than pedicel - Frons, surface of face below antennae, LARGELY HIDDEN by bright white hair - Antennae, outer flagellar segments farthest from pedicel, STRONGLY FACETED - Abdomen, T2, with an unpitted rim occupying one fifth or less of the longitudinal length of the segment (1)
 S. ranunculi - Head, 1st flagellar segment SHORTER than pedicel - Leg, mid-femur, CLEARLY MUCH WIDER than the rear femur, in the other species the femurs are about the same size (1)
S. dichrous vs. S. hydrangeae
 S. dichrous - Abdomen, in comparison with S. hydrangeae, pit density slightly HIGHER and hair density slightly GREATER - Very difficult to tell apart from S. hydrangeae without a long series or without looking at the genitalia (1)
 S. hydrangeae - Abdomen, in comparison with S. dichrous, pit density slightly LOWER and hair density EXTREMELY SPARSE - Very difficult to tell apart from S. dichrous without looking at a long series or at the genitalia (1)
S. galerus vs. S. smilacinae
 S. galerus - Thorax, scutum, pitting, DENSE with spaces between pits, almost entirely, far less than 1 pit diameter (1)
 S. smilacinae - Thorax, scutum, pitting, relatively SPARSE, with many spaces between pits far exceeding 1 pit diameter (1)
S. hydrangeae vs. S. minor
 S. hydrangeae - Head, antennal facets, may or may not be PRESENT, if present, it distinguishes this species from S. minor - Pedicel, about HALF OR LESS of the length of F1 - Thorax, scutellum, surface texture, about as rough as that of the metanotum, so ROUGH and rugose that pits do not appear to be present (1)
 S. minor - Head, antennal facets, always WITHOUT antennal facets - Pedicel, about THREE QUARTERS of the length of F1 - Thorax, scutellum, surface texture, clearly PITTED with a SMOOTH surface (1)
S. mandibularis vs. S. minor vs. S. pimpinellae
 S. mandibularis - Head, 1st flagellar segment, HALF OR MORE the length of the second flagellar segment - Antennae, length of flagellar segment 7-9, about the SAME AS THE WIDTH - Thorax, propodeum, below the rim on the rear face, a clear UNMARKED, SHINY triangle whose base is along the rim and the tip of which runs about half way down - Difference between this species and S. pimpinellae is unclear (1)
 S. minor - Head, 1st flagellar segment, HALF OR LESS the length of the second flagellar segment - Antennae, length of flagellar segment 7-9, about 1.5X the width - Thorax, propodeum, below the rim of the rear face, entirely reticulated with RAISED LINES, no unmarked triangle present (1)
 S. pimpinellae - Head, 1st flagellar segment, about TWO-THIRDS the length of the second flagellar segment - Antennae, length of flagellar segment 7-9, about the SAME AS THE WIDTH - Thorax, propodeum, below the rim on the rear face, a clear UNMARKED, SHINY triangle whose base is along the rim and the tip of which runs about half way down - Difference between this species and S. mandibularis is unclear (1)
S.carolinus vs. S. smilacinae vs. S. solonis
 S. carolinus - Head, clypeus, surface CLEARLY VISIBLE, hairs thin and scattered (1)
 S. smilacinae - Head, clypeus, surface CLEARLY VISIBLE, hairs thin and scattered - Clypeus and face, while containing numerous hairs, has NO THICKER, bright white, minutely plumose HAIRS that show up on in the other species, particularly in the area to either side of the clypeus (1)
 S. solonis - Head, clypeus, surface LARGELY DISGUISED by thick white hair - Thorax, propodeum, entire rear face of the propodeum strongly reticulated with RAISED LINES, the other species have a clear shiny, unmarked and unpitted triangle whose base runs along the rim of the dorsal triangle and runs down to the point about half way or a bit more on the rear face of the propodeum (1)
S.johnsonii vs. S. pimpinellae
 S. johnsonii - Size 8-9mm - Head, flagellar segments 7-9, SLIGHTLY LONGER than broad - In direct comparison to S. pimpinellae, is a slightly larger, stouter, duller, hairier, more densely pitted bee with a slightly longer antennae - A frustrating pair, S. johnsonii and S. pimpinellae, as in direct comparison they are easy to separate, but definitive characters that are easy to portrait are difficult to come up with (1)
 S. pimpinellae - Size 7-8mm - Head, flagellar segment 7-9, about AS LONG AS BROAD - In direct comparison with S. johnsonii, is a smaller, slimmer, shinier, less hairy and less distinctly pitted bee with slightly shorter antennae - A frustrating pair, S. johnsonii and S. pimpinellae, as in direct comparison they are easy to separate, but definitive characters that are easy to portrait are difficult to come up with (1)
Species currently listed as subspecies, but now thought to be species
 1. RECOMMENDED - Include this species (41)
 2. DROP this species from the list (27)
Species for which only the females are known
 1. RECOMMENDED - Drop these species from the list (38)
 2. DISPLAY these species (3)
Species thought to be synonyms of other species
 1. RECOMMENDED - Drop these species from list (35)
 2. DISPLAY these species (6)
Thorax, pronotum, lateral or humeral angle, shape
 Greater than 90 deg (31)
 90 degrees or less (13)
Thorax, pronotum, lateral or humeral ridge, shape
 Strongly angled, with a sharp clear edge (23)
 Ridge rounded over, not sharply defined (22)
Thorax, propodeum, triangle, percent distance from the base to the rim that raised reticulations or striations are present
 1. 100 (32)
 2. 50 to 95 (6)
 3. Less than 50 (2)
Thorax, scutum, pits in the center
 1. All pits touching one another (21)
 2. Many pits touching one another (14)
 3. Some pits touching one another (12)
 4. No pits touching on another (9)
Total length in millimeters
 6 (22)
 7 (22)
 8 (19)
 9 (17)
 5 (16)
 10 (10)
 4 (10)
 11 (5)
 3 (2)