This work embodies studies of minute bees of the subfamily Euryglossinae, family Colletidae. It was known that individuals were very plentiful around blossoms of Australian native trees in the summer time, and this study has revealed that many different species are involved. Thousands of minute bees have been collected in various parts of Australia, mounted and labelled, and thousands more have been borrowed from institutions and museums around the world.
The major part of the thesis is a taxonomic study of minute Euryglossinae. Consideration of the type specimens of all previously described species and the new material available has resulted in almost all of these being placed into five genera. One, Quasihesma, is established for three new species. Four other genera are revised and all previously established species redescribed. The genus Euryqlossella Cockerell, is reinstated. In the genus Euryqlossina Cockerell, twenty-seven species are described as new. Three new species are described in the genus Euryqlossula Michener, and eleven new species, one in a new subgenus, are recognised in the genus Brachyhesma Michener. In addition, descriptions of twenty-one species of unassociated males or females are included. Keys to enable the separation of all species are presented.
A numerical taxonomic study of the genus Euryqlossina was undertaken. However, as the sexes could not be associated, little useful information on the groupings within the genus resulted.
Descriptions of all nests and larvae known are given, and all records of flower relationships are included. ........................................