Probably the most common fall Cellophane Bee in VT. Females are relatively straightforward to ID from clear photos. Most often found on goldenrod.
Identification: Named for the long spines just behind the heads, which are occasionally visible in photographs, though are also found (but shorter) on other species. This is a relatively large Cellophane bee, with course, dark hair on its thorax, which eliminates most of the other fall species.
Similar Species: The Aster Cellophane Bee (Colletes compactus) is found slightly later in the fall, with a preference for asters. It has a significantly longer malar space than the Spine-shouldered. American Cellophane Bee (Colletes americanus) are smaller and lack dark hairs on the thorax.
Known or suspected parasites: Notch-backed Cellophane-cuckoo Bee (Epeolus scutellaris)
Global Status: Secure (G5)
Vermont Status: Not Ranked
For more information, visit the following links:
Living Atlas Species Page
Distribution: To see the global distribution, check out the iNaturalist account, and toggle the GBIF layer on the map.