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:

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Living Atlas Species Page


Distribution: To see the global distribution, check out the iNaturalist account, and toggle the GBIF layer on the map.