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Ctenocolletes tigris m.jpg
Ctenocolletes tigris
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Clade: Antophila
Family: Stenotritidae


The Stenotritidae is the smallest of all formally recognized bee families, with only 21 species in two genera, all of them restricted to Australia. Historically, they were generally considered to belong in the family Colletidae, but the stenotritids are presently considered their sister taxon, and deserving of family status.[1] Of prime importance is that the stenotritids have unmodified mouthparts, whereas colletids are separated from all other bees by having bilobed glossae.

They are large, densely hairy, fast-flying bees, which make simple burrows in the ground and firm, ovoid provision masses in cells lined with a waterproof secretion. The larvae do not spin cocoons.

Fossil brood cells of a stenotritid bee have been found in the Pleistocene of the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.[2]


The family contains two Genera: Ctenocolletes and Stenotritus. Here is a listing of known species.




  1. ^ Danforth, B.N.; Sipes, S.; Fang, J.; Brady, S.G. (2006). "The history of early bee diversification based on five genes plus morphology". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 103 (41): 15118–23. doi:10.1073/pnas.0604033103. PMC 1586180. PMID 17015826.
  2. ^ Houston, T.F. (1987). "Fossil brood cells of stenotritid bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) from the Pleistocene of South Australia". Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. 3: 93–97.