This species was introduced to the US, likely mixed in with Hornfaced Bees brought from Japan for fruit tree pollination. It likely arrived in Vermont a few years after the Hornfaced Bee, and was first detected in 2020, though was found in multiple counties in southern VT, so may have been in the state for several years prior to its discovery.
Identification: Roughly Honey Bee sized, this species forms a relatively distinctive group with the Hornfaced Bee. Both species have black bodies that are covered in bronze hair. The females have two noticeable horns on the front of their face and have orangish-brown scopal hairs under their abdomen, unlike the black or white hairs on the native species.
Similar Species: Hornfaced Bee (Osmia cornifrons) – A closely related and visual similar species. Best distinguished by details of the face.
Global Status: Secure.
Vermont Status: Introduced
More Information: For more information on the Taurus Mason Bee, visit the following links:
Living Atlas Species Page
USDA info sheet
Vermont Distribution: So far only found close to the southern and western borders. Could potentially spread statewide, but so far all of the O. cornifrons/O. taurus group collected in Northern Vermont have been O. cornifrons.
To see the global distribution, check out the iNaturalist account, and toggle the GBIF layer on the map.