Archive for the ‘Taxonomy’ Category

New Hoplitis (Hoplitis) species

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

In a recent article in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research (96, 641-656, 2023), two new Hoplitis species of the subgenus Hoplitis from southern Russia, Azerbaijan and Central Asia are described, i.e. H. astragali and H. dagestanica. See species accounts for details.

Protosmia magnicapitis

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

The examination of the holotype female of Protosmia magnicapitis (Stanek, 1969) revealed that the species does not belong to the subgenus Protosmia as assumed by Griswold (1985). Instead, it is a member of the subgenus Nanosmia as shown by the densely punctate apical margin of tergum 1, the almost cylindrical antennal flagellum and the small size. Among Protosmia species of the subgenus Nanosmia, P. magnicapitis is well characterized by the coarse punctation of scutum, scutellum and terga and particularly by the shape of the mandible, which is parallel-sided in its apical half and bears two minute and weakly separated teeth immediately followed by a long and reddish apical tooth.

Hoplitis camelina (Benoist, 1934)

Sunday, June 25th, 2023

Hoplitis camelina was described by Benoist (1934) based on a female collected near Ain Leuh in Morocco. This female differs from European females of H. acuticornis (Dufour & Perris, 1840) by its yellowish-red rather than (yellowish-)white pilosity of head, mesosoma and metasoma and by the reddish rather than blackish marginal zones of the terga. Recently, T. Wood collected a series of females and males of H. camelina at the same locality and date near Guercif in southern Morocco, which show a strong variability in the colour of the body pilosity and the tergal marginal zones. Some specimens have a (yellowish-)white body pilosity and dark marginal tergal zones as in European specimens of H. acuticornis, whereas others have a yellowish-red body pilosity and lightened tergal marginal zones as in H. camelina and still others a (yellowish-)white body pilosity and lightened marginal tergal zones. As no structural differences between North African specimens of H. camelina and European specimens of H. acuticornis were found in either sex, the status of H. camelina as a species of its own does not seem to be justified. Therefore, H. camelina is newly regarded as conspecific with H. acuticornis. Pending a future revision of the H. acuticornis group, H. camelina is tentatively treated as a subspecies of H. acuticornis as proposed by Warncke (1991h).

Hoplitis taurica (Radoszkowski, 1874)

Sunday, June 25th, 2023

Pseudosmia taurica was described by Radoszkowski (1874) based on female and male specimens collected near Salguir on the Crimean peninsula. Radoszkowski placed this species in a newly established genus Pseudosmia, to which he added – according to the current classification – eight further species belonging to Hoplitis (Anthocopa), Osmia (Erythrogastra), Osmia (Helicosmia), Osmia (Hoplosmia) and Osmia (Metallinella). Radoszkowski’s description is far from being sufficient to narrow down the identity of P. taurica. Due to the laterally toothed male tergum 6, P. taurica is probably a member of the genus Hoplitis, which is supported by the author’s remark that the new species is morphologically close to H (Anthocopabisulca (Gerstaecker). The types of P. taurica were neither found in Krakow, where a large part of the bee collection of Radoszkowski is housed, nor in Moscow or St. Petersburg (L. Przybyłowicz, A. Fateryga and M. Proshchalykin, personal communication), which suggests that they are lost. Due to the insufficient species description and the unavailability of the types, P. taurica Radoszkowski, 1874 is therefore newly regarded as a nomen dubium.

New Hoplitis (Stenosmia) species

Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

In a recent article in the Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine (159, 79-86, 2023), I. Cross described Hoplitis halophila, a new species of the subgenus Stenosmia from southern Iberia. See species account for details.

Hoplitis corcyraea elevated to species rank

Saturday, November 19th, 2022

Tkalku (1979) described Hoplitis corcyraea as subspecies of H. yermasoyiae (Mavromoustakis 1938) mainly differing from the latter by the yellowish-red rather than whitish metasomal scopa. The investigation of a series of H. corcyraea from mainland Greece revealed additional morphological differences, e.g. in the length of the mouthparts, in the formation of the tergal hair bands and in the punctation of the tergal discs. Thus, H. corcyraea is elevated here to species rank.

Newly described Palaearctic osmiine bee species

Friday, September 30th, 2022

Two articles in Zootaxa have been recently published, one dealing with the biology and taxonomy of Osmia bees of the subgenera Allosmia and Neosmia (Zootaxa, 5188, 201-232, 2022) and the other with the description of new Moroccan osmiine bee species (Zootaxa, 5188, 233-263, 2022). In these two articles, 16 new species are described, of which six belong to Hoplitis (Anthocopa), three to Hoplitis (Hoplitis), two to Protosmia (Nanosmia) and one each to Hoplitis (Alcidamea), Hoplitis (Tkalcua), Osmia (Allosmia), Osmia (Nasutosmia) and Osmia (Neosmia). Furthermore, one species of Osmia (Neosmia) is resurrected from synonymy, two former subspecies of Osmia (Allosmia) and Osmia (Neosmia), respectively, are elevated to species rank and one name of Osmia (Neosmia) is newly regarded as nomen dubium.

Hoplitis (Anthocopa) cretaea

Thursday, July 7th, 2022

Tkalcu (1992) described Hoplitis (Anthocopa) cretaea from Crete. He listed several characters to differentiate this Cretean endemic from the closely related Hoplitis (Anthocopa) bisulca (Gerstaecker, 1869), which has a wide distribution ranging from southwestern Europe to western Asia. However, based on a large material of H. bisulca from all over Europe and western Asia the characters given by Tkalcu to separate the males of the two species proved to be incorrect. The only difference between the females of the two species is a slight difference in the punctation of the propodeum, which does not seem to justify species status of H. cretaea. Thus, H. cretaea is synonymized here with H. bisulca.

Subspecies in Osmia (Helicosmia)

Sunday, June 19th, 2022

In the following three European species of the subgenus Osmia (Helicosmia), populations were given subspecific rank solely due to the white rather than yellowish pilosity of head, mesosoma and terga in the female sex:

– Osmia signata rhodia Tkalců, 2005 on Rhodes;

– Osmia labialis tornensis Tkalců, 1995 in eastern Europe;

– Osmia latreillei iberoafricana Peters, 1975 on the Iberian peninsula, Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta and Cyprus.

As the different colour of the body pilosity is not known to be accompanied by other morphological differences compared to the nominate subspecies and as transitional populations occur containing both white and yellow haired individuals (e.g. in O. latreillei on Corsica, Sardinia and the Canary Islands; Tkalců, 1975a; Zanden, 1983; Warncke, 1988a), the subspecific rank of these three taxa does not seem to be justified. Thus, the three subspecies are synonymized with Osmia signata Erichson, 1835, Osmia labialis Pérez, 1879 and Osmia latreillei (Spinola, 1806), respectively.

Osmia dimidiata assomatosana

Saturday, June 18th, 2022

Le Goff (2005) described a new subspecies of Osmia dimidiata Morawitz, 1870 based on specimens from Crete, i.d. O. d. assomatosana. According to the author, this subspecies is mainly characterized by the whitish rather than yellowish colour of the light hairs of the two-coloured metasomal scopa. The investigation of a large material of O. dimidiata from Mediterranean Europe and western Asia revealed that females with a white-black rather than yellow-black scopa are not restricted to Crete but also occur e.g. in Italy, Turkey or Israel. Thus, the subspecific rank of the Cretean population of O. dimidiata does not seem to be justified and consequently, O. d. assomatosana is synonymized here with O. dimidiata