Archive for the ‘Biology’ Category

Biology of Hoplitis perambigua

Sunday, November 19th, 2023

In a recent publication (Ampulex, 22-30, 2023), B. Jacobi and T. Wood describe the biology of Hoplitis (Hoplitis) perambigua, an endemic species of the Canary Islands. See species account for details.

Nesting biology of two species uncovered

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

In two recent articles in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research (96, 641-656 and 735-750, 2023) the nesting biology of Hoplitis (Hoplitis) astragali and of Hoplitis (Alcidamea) curvipes is described. See species accounts for details.

Nesting biology of Osmia argyropyga

Saturday, December 5th, 2020

Osmia (Hemiosmia) argyropyga was reported to nest in old brood cells of Megachile (Chalicodoma) pyrenaica Lepeletier (Grandi, 1962), which was assumed to be erroneous in a recent publication (Müller, Zootaxa, 4778, 201-236, 2020) as such a behaviour strongly deviates from the nesting biology of the closely related and morphologically very similar species O. balearica and O. uncicornis. This assumption is now supported by observations made by David Genoud, who observed a female of O. argyropyga nesting in a self-excavated burrow in loose soil in southern France. The record of O. argyropyga from Emilia-Romagna (Italy) given by Grandi (1962) is thus most probably also erroneous.

Nesting biology of two Osmia (Melanosmia) species uncovered

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

In two recent publications, the nesting biology of Osmia (Melanosmia) laticeps (Theunert, Beiträge zur Naturkunde Niedersachsens, 72, 53-71, 2019) and Osmia (Melanosmia) uncinata (Müller et al., Alpine Entomology, 4, 157-171, 2020) are described. The first species nests in insect burrows in dead wood, whereas the second constructs its brood cells within self-excavated short burrows in the bark of living trees and dead stumps of Pinus sylvestris or – more rarely – Larix decidua (see species accounts for details).

Description of the nesting biology of three osmiine bees

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

In three recent publications, the nesting biology of Hoplitis (Alcidamea) princeps (Ivanov & Fateryga, Entomological Review, 98, 995-1005, 2018), Osmia (Erythrosmia) andrenoides (Müller & Richter, Entomo Helvetica, 12, 69-79, 2019) and Osmia (Melanosmia) nigriventris (Müller et al., Alpine Entomology, 3, 105-119, 2019) is described. The first species nests in self excavated short burrows in loose soil, the second species colonizes empty snail shells as nesting sites and the third species tunnels out burrows in the bark of larch and pine (see species accounts for details).

Palaearctic Wainia bees are snail shell nesters

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Wainia (Caposmia) sexsignata, which occurs in southern Morocco and northern Western Sahara, nests in empty snail shells as reported in a recent publication in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 65, 61-89, 2018 (see species account for details). As several Afrotropical Wainia (Caposmia) species also use snail shells as nesting site, snail shell nesting appears to be a subgeneric trait of Wainia (Caposmia).

Unique nest architecture in Hoplitis mucida

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Hoplitis mucida was considered to consist of two subspecies with H. mucida mucida (Dours 1873) ranging from northwestern Africa to Israel and Jordan and H. mucida stecki (Frey-Gessner 1908) occurring in southwestern Europe and Sicily. As described in a recent publication (Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 60, 99-109, 2017), the nesting biology of the two subspecies strikingly differs. In North Africa, females construct fully exposed, cake-like nests of mud on the flat surface of rocks and stones containing 8–12 vertically oriented brood cells, rendering these nests unique among osmiine bees regarding both nesting site and nest architecture. In contrast, in Europe females build their few-celled mud nests inside small rock cavities. This discrepancy in the nesting biology is paralleled by considerable morphological differences between the two subspecies suggestive of a long geographical isolation. Due to these biological and morphological differences, the European subspecies H. mucida stecki was elevated to species rank by the authors of the publication mentioned above.

Nesting biology of Osmia pilicornis uncovered

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

The nesting biology of the rare European osmiine bee species Osmia pilicornis was still unknown. The recent discovery of several nests in Germany and Austria by Prosi et al. (2016) revealed that this species has a unique nesting behaviour among the osmiine bees: the females gnaw their nests with the aid of specialized mandibles in dead branches, which lie on the ground and are partly hidden under vegetation. Recently, Lemoine (2016) also discovered a nest in northern France, which was built in a branch of Populus; in contrast to his statement in the article that a preexisting beetle burrow served as nesting site, the female bee actually tunnelled out the nest by herself (personal communication by G. Lemoine) supporting the findings of Prosi et al. (2016). For details on nesting site and nest architecture see the species account on the Palaearctic osmiine bee website.

Biology of Hoplitis tuberculata

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

In a recently published paper, Müller (2015c) describes nest architecture and flower preferences of the boreoalpine Hoplitis (Alcidamea) tuberculata. The nest architecture of H. tuberculata is unique among Palaearctic osmiine bees. However, it corresponds to that of three North American species closely related to H. tuberculata. For details see the species account on the Palaearctic osmiine bee website.

Biology of Ochreriades fasciatus

Friday, May 8th, 2015

In a recently published paper, Rozen et al. (2015) describe the nesting biology, flower preferences and larval morphology of Ochreriades fasciatus, a rare bee species restricted in its distribution to the Levant. For details see the species account on the Palaearctic osmiine bee website.