Keys to aculeates

bees, wasps & ants

These keys cover a variety of sources, some available new, while others are recently or long out of date. Don't despair, there are numbers of entomological book shops out there and there is a ready market and availability for such works, which come and go with time. Finally, the  Royal Entomological Society offers free downloads of their out of print keys.

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Ants: by Gary J. Skinner & Geoffrey W. Allen; Naturalists Handbooks 24, The Richmond Publishing Company; 1996. 'Excellent and clear keys/drawings, very easy to use and understand'.

Bees, Wasps & Ants: a Key to the Genera of the British Aculeates; by Pat Willmer; AIDGAP; Field Studies 7 (S16), 1985. 'An easy-to-use guide designed to make separation into genera easier for the non-technical'.

British Species of Andrena & Nomada; by R.C.L. Perkins; pp 218-319; Transactions of the Entomological Society of London; 1919. 'Invaluable as a way of checking conclusions. Although the scientific names may have changed, this does not prove too much of a problem'.

British Species of Halictus & Sphecodes; by R.C.L. Perkins; pp 56-52, 94-101, 167-174; The Entomologists Monthly Magazine; March 1922. 'Much still applicable'.

British Species of Megachile; by R.C.L. Perkins; pp 95-101; The Entomologists Monthly Magazine; May 1925

Bumblebees: by Oliver E. Prỹs-Jones & Sarah H. Corbet; Naturalists Handbooks 6, The Richmond Publishing Company; Revised edition 1991. 'Clear keys/drawings, also fine introduction to the subject'.

Bumblebee Distribution Maps Scheme: Guide to the British Species; by D.V. Alford; (from Entomologists Gazette Vol 21), Bee Research Association, 1973. 'A slender paperback which contains all the information needed to identify bumblebees through the microscope and in the field'.

Colletes halophila, & its Epeolus parasite, with a key to British Species of Colletes; by K.M. Guichard; pp 195-199; Entomologist’s Gazette Vol. 25; 1974

Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland: by Steven Falk, illustrated by Richard Lewington; pages 432; Bloomsbury 2015. 'The latest and best complete guide, with marvellous illustrations, incredibly detailed field and scientific information and superb format. A tour de force'.

Hymenoptera Aculeata: a descriptive account of the families, genera and species indigenous to Great Britain and Ireland, with notes as to habits, localities, habitats etc.; by Edward Saunders FLS, L. Reeve & Co, 1896. 'A quite amazing book, though long out of date as regards nomenclature. Contains full descriptions of species – which are still not available in any other book. Still important and most helpful in identifying species'.

Hymenoptera, Aculeata: Scolioidea, Vespoidea, & Sphecoidea: Vol 6 Part 3b; by J.F. Perkins; Royal Entomological Society of London; Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects, 1976. 'Keys to species'.

Hymenoptera, Bethyloidea: (excluding Chrysididae): Vol 6 Part 3a; by J.F. Perkins; Royal Entomological Society of London; Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects, 1976. 'Keys to species'.

Hymenoptera, Chrysididae: Cuckoo-wasps: Vol 6 Part 5; by D. Morgan; Royal Entomological Society of London; Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects, 1984. 'Excellent keys to species, though the whole classification is presently under study'.

Hymenoptera, Formicidae: Vol 6 Part 3c; by Barry Bolton & Cedric A. Collingwood; Royal Entomological Society of London; Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects, 1975. 'Difficult but complete keys to species; other books are easier for the amateur enthusiast'.

Hymenoptera, Pompilidae: Spider wasps: Vol 6 Part 4; by M.C. Day; Royal Entomological Society of London; Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects, 1988. 'Keys to species'.

Solitary wasps: by Peter F. Yeo & Sarah A. Corbet; Naturalists Handbooks 3, The Richmond Publishing Companysecond edition 1995. 'Excellent and clear keys/drawings, easy to use'.

The Bees of Britain; by George Else; (under preparation) The Ray Society. 'The most important scientifically-based book on bees in Britain since Saunders in the late 1890’s. It will contain brand new, highly tested keys for all British species, fully illustrated with detailed drawings and will fill a real need. No date yet known but expected in 2016/17'.

The Bumblebees of Essex; by Ted Benton; Lopinga Books, 2000. 'Although covering Essex, much of the work applies all over the country with some of the finest photographs of bumblebees. A worthwhile addition to any library'.

The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia & Denmark; by C.A. Collingwood (in English); Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, Volume 8, 1979. 'Provides superb, clear drawings and keys to most British species. A classic'.

The Specidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia & Denmark; by O. Lomholdt (in English); Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, Volume 4, Second edition, 1984. 'Covers most, if not all, British species. Really well illustrated with clear keys. Discusses which species are found in UK'. 


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