Hylaeus sp – Masked BeeHylaeus alcyoneus Hylaeus douglasi Hylaeus elegans Hylaeus euxanthus Hylaeus ruficeps Hylaeus violaceus

The Red-headed Masked Bee (Hylaeus ruficeps) are distinctive small native bee, with red head and the yellow markings on their face. Often grouped under the common name of Masked bees that include other species with distinctive yellow or white markings on black faces.

Masked Bee (Hylaeus sp), Alice Springs, NT
Masked Bee (Hylaeus ruficeps), Alice Springs, NT

The Red-headed Masked Bees pictured here were nesting in the cracks of a wooden bench seat. They are approximately 5 mm in size (hard to photograph without a macro lens).


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Colletidae
  • Subfamily: Hylaeinae
  • Genus: Hylaeus
  • Species: Hylaeus ruficeps
  • Subspecies: Hylaeus ruficeps infrasp. ruficeps

Footnote & References

  1. Hylaeus ruficeps ssp. ruficeps, iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/892280-Hylaeus-ruficeps-ruficeps
  2. Red-headed Masked Bee, iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/observations?taxon_id=892279
  3. Hylaeus (Euprosopoides) ruficeps, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:afd.taxon:13884e3b-e8bc-4e0f-b96f-89b608db7a98

BeesAmegilla Bee Austroplebeia australis Bees Anatomy Bee Behaviour Ceylalictus perditellus Colletidae European Honey Bee Euryglossinae Homalictus Hyleoides bivulnerata Lipotriches Megachile Meroglossa Stenotritidae Thyreus Xylocopa

Hylaeus sp – Masked BeeHylaeus alcyoneus Hylaeus douglasi Hylaeus elegans Hylaeus euxanthus Hylaeus ruficeps Hylaeus violaceus