Subgenus Formicapis

The subgenus Formicapis Sladen contains 4 species, 1 of which occurs both in the Palaearctic and the Nearctic region.

Open forests in the subalpine zone with a high amount of dead wood are the typical habitat of Hoplitis robusta (Nylander, 1848) in the Alps. Foto A. Müller.

Species accounts

Hoplitis (Formicapis) coreensis (Müller, 2016)

2016 Hoplitis (Formicapis) coreensis Müller in Müller and Mauss, Zootaxa, 4127: 109. Type material: Holotype f, “Gyongido, Gapyeong-gun Seo-myeon, Magok-li” [South Corea], ETHZ (Zurich).

Distribution-Northern Asia: ROK.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: No supplementary or more detailed morphological description known. Note: Male unknown.

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: Unknown.

Hoplitis (Formicapis) excisa (Morawitz, 1880)

1880 Osmia excisa Morawitz, Bulletin de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, 26: 385. Type material: f(f), “Ordoss (Chuan-che)” [China].-Combination Osmia (Stenosmia) excisa Morawitz in Mavromoustakis (1954b: 268). Combination Osmia (Osmia) excisa Morawitz in Wu (2006: 48).

Distribution-Northern Asia: RC(NO).

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Mavromoustakis (1954b: 267); Müller and Mauss (2016); Wu (2006).

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: Possibly oligolectic on Rosaceae (Müller and Mauss, 2016).

Hoplitis (Formicapis) maritima (Romankova, 1985)

1985 Formicapis robusta maritima Romankova, Vestnik Zoologii (Kiev), 6: 66. Type material: Syntypes m(m), f(f), “Primorski territory” [Russia].-Combination Formicapis maritima Romankova in Romankova (1994: 124). Combination Hoplitis (Formicapis) maritima (Romankova) in Tkalcu (1995: 121).

Distribution-Northern Asia: MGL, RUS(FS).

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Müller and Mauss (2016); Romankova (1995).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: insect burrows in 4-5cm thick branches of conifers lying on the ground containing 2-6 linearly arranged brood cells. Nesting material: Cell partitions and nest plug are made of chewed leaves. The females clean the burrows from wood debris with their mandibles. (Banaszak and Romasenko, 2001; Romankova, 1985a)

Flower preferences: Oligolectic on Rosaceae (e.g. Fragaria, Potentilla) (Romankova, 1985; Proshchalykin in Quest 2009). Flower records: Fragaria orientalis, Potentilla amurensis, P. fragarioides (Romankova, 1985; label records).

Hoplitis (Formicapis) robusta (Nylander, 1848)

1848 Heriades robusta Nylander, Notiser ur Sällskapets pro Fauna et Flora Fennica Förhandlingar, vol. 1, p. 270. Type material: Lectotype f, by designation of Tkalcu (1995: 121), “Helsingfors” [Finland], FMNH (Helsinki); paralectotype m. Type species of Formicapis Sladen.-Combination Chelostoma robustum (Nylander) in Smith (1854: 220). Combination Osmia robusta (Nylander) in Schletterer (1889: 988). Combination Formicapis robusta (Nylander) in Romankova (1985a: 66).

1861 Osmia Rhinoceros Giraud, Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien, 11: 464. Type material: Syntypes ff, “Gastein” [Austria], Giraud Collection.-Combination Osmia (Acanthosmia) rhinoceros Giraud in Schmiedeknecht (1885: 21 [887]).-Synonymy in Schletterer (1889: 688).

1869 Heriades trinacria Morawitz, Horae Societatis Entomologicae Rossicae (St. Petersburg), 6: 41. Type material: m(m), “im Gdowschen Kreise” [Russia], ZIN (St. Petersburg).-Synonymy in Popov (1946: 107).

1916 Formicapis clypeata Sladen, The Canadian Entomologist, 48: 271. Type material: Syntypes m(m), f(f), “Aweme, Manitoba and Waterhole, Alberta” [Canada].-Synonymy in Peters (1970b: 194).

Distribution-Europe: A, BY, CH, EST, F, FIN, I, LV, RUS. Northern Asia: MGL, RC, RUS. Extralimital: Nearctic (Canada, USA).

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Amiet et al. (2004); Banaszak and Romasenko (2001); Benoist (1931); Ducke (1900); Friese (1911b); Medvedeva (1978); Müller and Mauss (2016); Romankova (1985a, 1995); Scheuchl (1996); Schmiedeknecht (1885-1886); Wu (2006).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Preexisting cavities: Cerambycid beetle burrows and drilled borings (diameter 3–6mm) in dead wood containing 3-14 linearly arranged brood cells; some nests contain empty vestibule cells following the last brood cell; the females probably use their large mandibles to clean the beetle burrows from wood debris after nest site selection. Nesting material: Cell partitions are made of chewed leaves of Potentilla, Fragaria and possibly Alchemilla (all Rosaceae), sometimes with small pieces of wood embedded in the leaf matrix; the nest plug varies in thickness from 10mm to 14mm and consists of 8-13 layers of leaf pulp constructed immediately behind each other. (Clement and Rust, 1975; Frey-Gessner, 1880; Müller and Mauss, 2016; Müller and Richter, 2018)

Flower preferences: Polylectic with a strong preference for Potentilla (Rosaceae), e.g. P. erecta; additional pollen sources include Rubus (Rosaceae), Helianthemum (Cistaceae), Fabaceae (Medicago, Lotus), Cichorioideae (Asteraceae) and Ranunculus (Ranunculaceae). H. robusta is one of the few bee species known to collect floral resources and nest building material from the very same plant, i.e. Potentilla (Müller and Mauss, 2016; Müller and Richter, 2018).