Thrilling new species record for Italy

Hoplitis (Anthocopa) saxialis is a very rare osmiine bee species, which seems to be restricted to high elevations. In Europe, the species has been found so far only in Greece on the Tymfi mountain and on the Mount Olympus above 2000m. It has further been recorded in eastern Turkey near Erzurum (2500m), around the Itkol in the Russian Caucasus (2100-2300m) and on the Alam-Kuh in the Elburz mountains in northern Iran (3500-4000m). Interestingly, C. Schmid-Egger has collected a male of H. saxialis in the Aosta valley mid July 2012 at an elevation of 2300m. Such a highly disjunct distribution area with occurrences in the Italian Alps, northern Greece and eastern Turkey/northern Iran is very unusual in the osmiine bees.

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