Entomology (Study of Bugs)/incect identification


Hi Eric,

I found you from your blogspot site. You seem to be familiar with bugs in Arizona. I was hoping that you could help identify these flies/bees that are in my garden. There seems to be more and more of them every day. They also appear to burrow into the ground. Here is a link to some photos of them: https://goo.gl/photos/LzFSbw5xRuQZkbhJ8


Nice images, thank you for sharing.

Those appear to be sweat bees in the genus Halictus , but I cannot be 100% certain without putting specimens under a microscope.

In any event, I can tell you they are solitary, or semi-social at best, nest in burrows in the ground as you mention, and are not the least bit aggressive or prone to sting.

Activity in nesting sites generally lasts only a few weeks at most.  Meanwhile, the bees are important pollinators of wildflowers, garden plants, and some crops.

Thanks again for your question.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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