Miner bees: Hesperapis kayella

(Hymenoptera: [Apoidea:] Melittidae: Dasypodainae: Dasypodaini)
Profile prepared by Matthew Shepherd, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Hesperapis kayella is endemic to the Columbia Basin and known from only four locations in Idaho and Nevada. It is a specialist forager on plants in the genus Tiquilia (crinklemat).

red list profile

conservation status

Xerces Red List Status: Vulnerable (Data Deficient)
Other Rankings:

Canada – Species at Risk Act: N/A
Canada – provincial status: N/A
Mexico: N/A
USA – Endangered Species Act: N/A
USA – state status: N/A
NatureServe: N/A
IUCN Red List: N/A

As a rare endemic species known from only four localities in disturbed habitat, the future of Hesperapis kayella is at risk.

taxonomic status

Hesperapis kayella (Stage 1965)

life history

The flight season of Hesperapis kayella is in June. It appears to be a specialist forager on plants in the genus Tiquilia (crinklemat). Little is known about its nesting habits. It nests in the ground, preferring sandy, river-bottom soils. It has been recorded within the Columbia Basin in Agricultural habitat.


Hesperapis kayella has only been recorded from a single locality in Owyhee County, ID, and three sites in Washoe County, NV.


Little is known of this bee, making it hard to assess threats.

conservation needs

Conservation efforts should ensure that flowering plants of the genus Tiquilia persist and that suitable sandy nesting substrate remains. Little is known of the biology of this species. Studies of both the nesting and foraging habits would be valuable. Searches of its known sites and sand dunes and other sandy habitats in surrounding areas should be done to confirm the distribution.


Tepedino, V.J., and T.L. Griswold. 1995. The bees of the Columbia Basin. Final report, USDA Forest Service, Portland, OR. 212 pp (Technical Report)


Shepherd, M. D. 2005. Species Profile: Hesperapis kayella. In Shepherd, M. D., D. M. Vaughan, and S. H. Black (Eds). Red List of Pollinator Insects of North America. CD-ROM Version 1 (May 2005). Portland, OR: The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation