Hylaeus spp – Masked BeeHylaeus (Prosopisteron) Hylaeus albonitens Hylaeus alcyoneus Hylaeus constrictiformis Hylaeus douglasi Hylaeus elegans Hylaeus euxanthus Hylaeus maiellus Hylaeus nubilosus Hylaeus proximus Hylaeus ruficeps Hylaeus (Prosopisteron) sanguinipictus Hylaeus theodorei Hylaeus violaceus Hylaeus vittatifrons

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
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Apoidea
  • Informal: Apidformes
  • Family: Colletidae
  • Subfamily: Hylaeinae
  • Genus: Hylaeus
  • Subgenus: infrageneric Euprosopoides
  • Species: Hylaeus ruficeps
  • Subspecies:
    • Hylaeus ruficeps infrasp. ruficeps
    • Hylaeus (Euprosopoides) ruficeps kalamundae

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

Hylaeus spp – Masked BeeHylaeus (Prosopisteron) Hylaeus albonitens Hylaeus alcyoneus Hylaeus constrictiformis Hylaeus douglasi Hylaeus elegans Hylaeus euxanthus Hylaeus maiellus Hylaeus nubilosus Hylaeus nubilosus Mud nest Hylaeus nubilosus Yellow Mask / White Mask Hylaeus proximus Hylaeus ruficeps Hylaeus (Euprosopoides) ruficeps ruficeps Hylaeus (Prosopisteron) sanguinipictus Hylaeus theodorei Hylaeus violaceus Hylaeus vittatifrons

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