BioImages: The Virtual Field-Guide (UK)

Aculeata (aculeates: bees, wasps and ants)

Subtaxa (ie subgroups of this Infraorder)

APOIDEA (solitary and hive bees)
APIDAE (bees), eg: Andrena (Melandrena) nitida (Grey-patched Mining Bee) - Female - dorsal view - wings apart
Superfamily 66 subtaxa 60 ident refs
CHRYSIDOIDEA (a superfamily of solitary wasps)
CHRYSIDIDAE (rubytail or cuckoo-wasps), eg: Chrysis angustula (a rubytail wasp) - Female - dorsal view DRYINIDAE (dryinid wasps), eg: (Anteon cf flavicorne) (a pair of closely similar Dryinid wasps) - Dryinid parasite on Homopteran bug - dorsal view MUTILLIDAE (velvet ants), eg: Mutilla europaea (Large Velvet Ant) - Female - dorsal view
Superfamily 17 subtaxa 37 ident refs
FORMICIDAE (ants), eg: Formica rufa (Red Wood Ant) - Male - dorsal view
Superfamily 28 subtaxa 33 ident refs
POMPILOIDEA (spider-hunting wasps)
POMPILIDAE (spider-hunting wasps), eg: Priocnemis (Priocnemis) agilis (a spider-hunting wasp) - Female - dorsal view - wings spread
Superfamily 8 subtaxa 5 ident refs
SPHECOIDEA (a superfamily of solitary wasps)
CRABRONIDAE (a family of solitary wasps), eg: Crabro cribrarius (Slender Bodied Digger Wasp) - Male - dorsal view - wings spread
Superfamily 16 subtaxa 14 ident refs
VESPIDAE (social wasps), eg: Dolichovespula (Dolichovespula) media (European Wasp) - Male - dorsal view Unidentified Vespoidea (Unidentified Wasps), eg: Unidentified Vespoidea (Unidentified Wasps) - Mating pair - side view
Superfamily 16 subtaxa 31 ident refs
Unidentified Aculeata (Unidentified Aculeates: Bees, Wasps and Ants)
Dorsal view

Suggested Literature

Identification Works

BWARS: Species accounts: BWARS: Species accounts
BWARS: Species Accounts: BWARS: Species Accounts
Photos of Insects: Photos of Insects
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants and relatives): Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants and relatives)
Saunders, E., 1896 The Hymenoptera Aculeata of the British Islands
Willmer, P., 1985 Bees, Ants and Wasps: A key to genera of the British Aculeates
Cercle de Mycologie de Mons (Belgique): (Page perso de JJ. Wuilbaut): Cercle de Mycologie de Mons (Belgique): (Page perso de JJ. Wuilbaut)

Regional guides

Baldock, D.W., 2008 Bees of Surrey

BioInfo BioInfo ( has 97 general literature references to Aculeata (aculeates: bees, wasps and ants)

Aculeata may also be covered by literature listed under:

(living things)
(insects and other 6-legged organisms)
(true insects)
(ants, bees and wasps, sawflies and parasitoid wasps)

BioInfo BioInfo ( has 950 feeding and other relationships of Aculeata (aculeates: bees, wasps and ants)

Further Information

Lab. techniques Aculeates are a difficult group to identitify, even from specimens, but these are usually needed for certain identification, at least until you're reasonably expert with the group.

Aculeates tend become rigid on death. To get relaxed specimens for setting, kill in the freezer then leave overnight.

Specimens should be set with the legs pulled down away from the body to facilitate examination of the sides of the thorax. Try to ensure the leading edges of the hindwings are hooked onto the trailing edges of the forewings, as they are in life. The wings can be left in the vertical position, or positioned so they are flat, but should not be allowed to obscure the upper surface of the abdomen. Ideally, the jaws should be held open as the number of teeth is often important.
Photographic hints Like Calyptrate flies, Aculeates tend become rigid on death. To get relaxed specimens for posing for focus-stacked photography, kill in the freezer then leave overnight.
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