Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Osmiini
Genus: Heriades Spinola, 1808
Subgenera: Amboheriades, Heriades, Michenerella, Neotrypetes, Pachyheriades, Rhopaloheriades, Toxeriades, Tyttheriades
Common name: none


Heriades were likely named after the woolly patches found on the abdomen of several species, as Heriades means “wool” (Wilson and Carril 2016). Most species range in body length from 4–7 mm in length; however, South African species can reach a length of 10.5 mm (Michener 2007). Most species within North America have black, slender, elongated bodies with white bands of hair on their abdomen (Wilson and Carril 2016).


Heriades contains approximately 140 species in eight subgenera worldwide (Ascher and Pickering 2016a). There are 13 described and 10 undescribed species in North and Central America, but only a dozen of them are commonly collected. Only three species occur east of the Rocky Mountains.

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007)

May be confused with

Heriades may be confused with bees within the genera Afroheriades and Stenoheriades, but Heriades can be distinguished by their short proboscis, which does not extend beyond the fossa (Michener 2007).

Known invasives

Heriades truncorum has a native range throughout Europe and eastern Asia, but was reportedly collected in Maryland in 2010 (Russo 2016).

Host associations

Heriades are generalists and have been observed visiting a variety of flowering plants (Wilson and Carril 2016).

Nesting behavior

Heriades are solitary. Most nest in abandoned holes in wood and plant stems created by other insects, such as beetles (Michener 2007). Heriades have also been found nesting in pine cones (Wilson and Carril 2016). Like Ashmeadiella and Hoplitis, Heriades uses resin to build partitions between cells (Michener 2007).


Heriades are found on every continent except Australia and South America (Discover Life 2018). In the Americas, they range from southern Canada to the northern edge of Columbia (Wilson and Carril 2016; Discover Life 2018).

​Distribution map generated by Discover Life -- click on map for details, credits, and terms of use.

<p><em>Heriades clavicornis</em> female face, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Heriades clavicornis female face, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Heriades clavicornis </em>female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Heriades clavicornis female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Heriades carinatus</em> female abdomen, photo: T. Brady</p>
Heriades carinatus female abdomen, photo: T. Brady
<p><em>Heriades corinatus </em>nest cell, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Heriades corinatus nest cell, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Heriades corinatus</em> nest cell, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Heriades corinatus nest cell, photo: C. Ritner