This bee is a very close relative of the scarcer Hylaeus incongruus Förster (formerly misidentified in Britain as H. gibbus (Saunders)) and the females of the two species can be difficult to distinguish apart, although the extent of the yellow facial markings offers the best character for identification. In southern England both species are occasionally found flying together.
Widely distributed throughout Britain though rare and sporadic in Scotland. In Ireland it is perhaps the commonest of the four species of Hylaeus that occur there. There are no records from the Channel Islands. It is a locally common bee in the southern half of Britain.
The species has a Trans-Palaearctic distribution, occurring from Fennoscandia to Iberia, east to China, Mongolia and the far east of the Russian Federation (Magadan, Primor’ye, Sakhalin) (Koster, 1986; Ascher & Pickering, 2012).