Bee and wasp checklists

This wiki is for creating or adding to bee and wasp checklists for all iNat. Places.

Create checklists (examples in links)

  • Find sources, and check if any more spp. have been observed on iNat or Bug Guide to add (combine lists). Go to iNat Explore, search location and taxon, and click Species to see observed taxa.
  • Go to Homepage: More: Places, search location in results, and click View checklist page on bottom left.
  • Search taxon (e.g. Bees) in the taxon bar on middle of right. Paste spp. into Add or Batch on top right (easiest if from an Excel-like column with only Genus species), or use CSV files. Add subspecies where applicable, and genus or subgenus if species isn’t known.
  • Fix problems when spp. can’t be found. Use lookup search, search external name databases, and Add. Create curation requests for spp. which can’t be added to iNat (in Curation box on right side of a taxon page).
  • There’s no concern of duplicates when adding spp. to the same list, so multiple sources can be added over time.
  • See below for formatting to add lists here. Add links for your: list (after searching for taxon, e.g. bees), citations (add iNat when it also contributed new spp.), and add links/notes about spp. which can’t be added to iNat or run into other technical issues (see below).

Use checklists

  • Go to Identify, search a location, click Suggestions, and filter by State or country, genus, and checklist, to show all species including ones without observations.
  • Go to the map on a species taxon page. The shaded regions show where species have only been recorded in a checklist.

Sources for creating new checklists

Bees (iNat= observations contributed new records)




North America


United States

  • Indiana (266; 1)
  • Maine (281, need to review if all were added) [1]
  • New Hampshire (279; 1)
  • New York (437, incomplete, needs review)
  • Pennsylvania (436; source in checklist)
  • Started western states (incomplete lists): AZ-CA-CO-ID-MT-NM-NV-OR-UT-WA-WY; 1
  • Started central states (incomplete lists): AR-IA-IL-IN-KS-KY-MI-MN-MO-ND-NE-OH-OK-SD-TN-TX-WI; 1


South America



  • Timor-Leste (20; 1 not in Hymenoptera taxon; 1,2,3 spp/ssp to be added to iNat) [1]


Current technical issues and questions

  • Identify spp. duplicates occur after creating separate (multiple) newly-titled Place lists (not recommended), and some spp. can’t be added due to error: “not in bees taxon”
  • After adding spp. to existing Place-lists, some don’t show up in the Bees taxon (or Hymenoptera for wasps).
  • Question whether/what status to use to add extirpated, extinct, or doubtful spp. Suggestion: add extirpated or extinct as inactive, and don’t add doubtful?


  • Source checklists and any experts consulted
  • iNaturalist members (including researchers) who created checklists
  • Observers and identifiers of new species records
  • Discover Life, which was consulted for most bee checklists (in combination with iNat records)

That sounds like a very cool idea!
I actually was not aware of checklists (just personal lists) until now, but I’ll definitely make some regional checklists for the few areas I work the most and have some literature available.



Welcome to the Forum! It is possible to export data from personal and iNat lists directly Excel spreadsheets. I’ve done it once or twice, but forget the exact process.

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I’ll see what I can do for New Hampshire using Rehan et al’s surveys, I believe those represent the most complete checklist for the state


I’ll ask around if anyone has a checklist for Arizona and New Mexico. I use a spreadsheet version of the specialist list from to suggest IDs when applicable, but I’m not sure if the generalists are given equal treatment anywhere. Is there a tool to generate lists from


there was a great NYT article on bees recently except there is a factually incorrect line about not having checklists of bees. I wrote the author to get him to issue a correction. He did (why make lies about what we don’t know about bees when there’s so many things we truly don’t know about bees) but IMO kinda made it worse by making it seem like we only know the bees in the Tri State Area.

Anyhoo, rant over, here’s some more lists (linked, sometimes you have to click another link)
New York

Discover life does a good job keeping records of where individual species are found. I don’t know if there’s a way to extract those lits though.


There is an iNat checklist for British Columbia that I have worked on using this as the source


Is there a way to search for existing checklists of particular places on iNaturalist?
I would consider making some, but I’d hate to duplicate work that’s already been done.


I’ve just been going to Places, searching location (like a US State), clicking on Checklist Page at the bottom of the page, and searching for Bees in the far right column. This (I think) will often show at least the species which have already been identified on iNat. Species can be added by using the options at the top right. There’s no concern of duplicates because it will tell you if some were already added. To check if a list is complete, the number of species (number of “leaves”) should equal at least as many listed in the most complete published checklist. As far as I know few to no checklists were previously created, so all should be needing them except HI, ME, and NY, US.

Any thoughts about turning this thread into a wiki so that as checklists come up they can be added to a curated list at the top of the thread?

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That was my original plan, but I don’t know how. Can regular users create wikis? In the meantime I can edit the post to add anyone’s completed checklists up to a certain number of days. I’ll add your B.C. checklist, any idea on how exhaustive that is?

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Second question first: Yes, original source to date of publication would be considered exhaustive - pretty much the go to resource around here (that I know of). I was adding to the Native Bee Society of BC Bee Tracker project this past spring and summer and it was a common resource more so in that it breaks the province up into distribution by ecozones. Some new findings occurred during this project but that is to be expected.

How do I create a Wiki?
Yes, as a member and a regular you can.

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It’s now a wiki, so anyone can add their lists to the top.

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Have you figured out how you are going to tackle checklists for the polyphyletic wasps? When I look at a Flower Visiting Wasps of the World for an example, their selection criteria is

must be in taxon Vespidae or must be in taxon Chrysididae or must be in taxon Crabronidae or must be in taxon Gasteruptiidae or must be in taxon Ichneumonidae or must be in taxon Leucospidae or must be in taxon Pompilidae or must be in taxon Scoliidae or must be in taxon Sphecidae or must be in taxon Thynnidae or must be in taxon Braconidae or must be in taxon Chalcididae or must be in taxon Tiphiidae or must be in taxon Ichneumonoidea or must be in taxon Torymidae or must be in taxon Bethylidae

I’m not sure what the work around is for this in the checklist creator used above.

What about searching taxon Hymenoptera on the Checklist page in Places and adding them there? Does that mean they are also sorted into e.g. Apocrita (for applicable taxa?). Alternatively you could search for each family and add species (e.g. Vespidae, Crabronidae, Pomilidae, Ichneumonidae). In general there will be more difficulty obtaining exhaustive lists for some of these groups (at least in most locations), but it will still help to add as many as are known.

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I was able to do a batch upload with some minor edits to my specialist bee spreadsheet. I can repeat this process for other states and at least half the native bees will be saved as checklists?

Edit: going well, only specialist bees for now, but that’s what I have access to.

That could help (and could also be done for the US checklist). Although if possible it might be more effective to go one state at a time and try to find full/exhaustive lists to add. Or if you add partial lists, you can update us but note next to them “non-exhaustive.” I’m currently including species number currently added, source, and exhaustive vs. not for each check list I update on.

Thanks @bdagley for the suggestion/motivation. It’s working in “Compare” when I set place to state level, very fun!

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@wenatcheeb we could work on a WA one!