I love me some little green bees! I have posted about our Halictid friends, the Agapostemon before (and their nesting aggregations), but there are other little green sweat bees. These, however, are much more difficult to identify to species.
In particular, there are three common genera that look very similar, even under a microscrope. These are Augochlora, Augochloropsis, and Augochlorella. Together, they make up the tribe Augochlorini. All three live in my area and all three are about the same size, with overlapping colour variation. How to tell them apart then? Diagnostic characters!
For example, Augochloropsis has a D-shaped tegula (that’s the cover over the base of the wing), while Augochlora and Augochlorella have oval shaped tegulas.
If you have a female (like the one above) if it is not Augochloropsis, it may be Augochlora if the marginal cell is squared off, or Augochlorella if the marginal cell is pointed.
That suggests Augochlora. To confirm, we should look at the paraocular area, if possible. In Augochlora, it has a little rounded knob that extends down over the clypeus.
To me, this suggests that it is Augochlora! And since there is only one species in this genus in my region, I deem it Augochlora pura.