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Article Abstract – Onuferko (2018)


A revision of the cleptoparasitic bee genus Epeolus Latreille for Nearctic species, north of Mexico (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

Author and affiliation:

Thomas M. Onuferko

York University, Toronto, Canada


ZooKeys 755: 1-185 (2018)


Herein, the cleptoparasitic (cuckoo) bee genus Epeolus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is revised for species occurring in North America, north of Mexico, and an updated checklist of all species known to occur in Canada and the United States of America is provided with comprehensive descriptions, diagnoses, and a single dichotomous key (using the same couplets for both sexes) to aid in their identification. To increase their recognition among North American naturalists, English common names are also proposed for all North American Epeolus. A total of 43 species is confirmed as present in the region, 15 of which are newly recognized. The following new species are proposed based on unique morphological (and in most cases also molecular) attributes: E. andriyi sp. n., E. attenboroughi sp. n., E. axillaris sp. n., E. basili sp. n., E. brumleyi sp. n., E. chamaesarachae sp. n., E. deyrupi sp. n., E. diadematus sp. n., E. ferrarii sp. n., E. gibbsi sp. n., E. inornatus sp. n., E. nebulosus sp. n., E. packeri sp. n., E. splendidus sp. n., and E. tessieris sp. n. Of the 15, six (E. axillaris, E. brumleyi, E. chamaesarachae, E. diadematus, E. splendidus, and E. tessieris) were identified as new species under different names (nomina nuda) in an M.Sc. thesis by Richard L. Brumley in 1965, but until now they have not been formally described. Detailed morphological comparisons with some evidence from DNA barcoding support the following synonymies, one of which C was first proposed by Brumley (1965): a) E. melectimimus Cockerell and Sandhouse, syn. n., under E. asperatus Cockerell; b) E. crucis Cockerell, syn. n., under E. compactus Cresson; c) E. mesillae palmarum Linsley, syn. n., under E. mesillae (Cockerell); and d) E. weemsi Mitchell, syn. n., and e) E. vernalis Mitchell, syn. n., under E. ilicis Mitchell. Only one member of the almost entirely Neotropical “Trophocleptria group” (Epeolus bifasciatus Cresson) is confirmed as occurring north of Mexico, and is widespread East of the Rocky Mountains. Known floral associations are indicated for each species, as are suspected or known host species of Colletes Latreille. Evidence is presented that suggests further investigation into the possible synonymy of Colletes wickhami Timberlake under C. scopiventer Swenk is warranted.

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