Catalogue of Palaearctic species

Two brood cells of Hoplitis (Anthocopa) villosa (Schenck, 1853) in a cavity between stones; the brood cells are constructed from petals, which are glued together with varying amounts of mud. Foto F. Amiet.

The species accounts contain the (1) taxonomy, (2) the geographic distribution, (3) literature sources for species identification as well as a short summary of our current knowledge on (4) nesting behaviour and (5) flower preferences.


The species-group names are arranged alphabetically by genus and subgenus, and chronologically within each valid name. The agreement of gender of the species-group name with the generic name as requested by the Article 31.2 of the Code of Zoological Nomenclature is enforced throughout the catalogue and hence the gender ending is changed if necessary. Griswold and Michener (1998) and Michener (2007) were used for the placement of the species-group taxa into the accepted genus-group taxa. We slightly deviate from this system by following European authors in their circumscription of Osmia (Allosmia) versus Osmia (Erythrosmia). In addition, we keep Hoplitis (Micreriades) as a distinct subgenus separated from Hoplitis (Alcidamea) and treat Nasutosmia as a subgenus of Osmia rather than of Hoplitis. Furthermore, Stenosmia and Hoplosmia are reduced to subgeneric rank in Hoplitis and Osmia, respectively, and Pseudoheriades is removed from the osmiine bees. These deviations are justified by the results of a molecular phylogenetic study of the Osmiini (Praz et al., 2008b). In addition, i) Ceraheriades, a former subgenus of Chelostoma, is treated here as junior synonym of Prochelostoma based on a recent phylogenetic analysis (Sedivy et al., 2008), ii) Exanthocopa, a former subgenus of Hoplitis, is synonymized with the subgenus Anthocopa (A. Müller, unpublished), iii) Ozbekosmia, a former subgenus of Osmia, is synonymized with the subgenus Tergosmia (A. Müller, unpublished), iv) the subgenera Annosmia, Bytinskia, Coloplitis and Hoplitis are merged into one large subgenus Hoplitis, v) the subgenera Alcidamea, Megalosmia, Monumetha and Prionohoplitis are merged into one large subgenus Alcidamea based on a recent molecular phylogenetic analysis (Sedivy et al., 2013a, c), and vi) the subgenera Monosmia and Orientosmia are synonymized with the subgenus Osmia based on a combined molecular and morphological phylogeny (Haider et al., 2013). All alternative published opinions concerning synonymy, rank as well as generic and subgeneric placement are disclosed citing at least one reference (not necessarily the earliest). Extralimital genera of the Osmiini restricted to areas outside the Palaearctic and therefore not treated here are Ashmeadiella Cockerell, Atoposmia Cockerell, Bekilia Benoist, Othinosmia Michener and Xeroheriades Griswold.


extinct taxon

original publication of a name not seen by the authors of the catalogue

m/one male/female specimen

mm/ff several male/female specimens

m(m)/f(fmale(s)/female(s) of unknown quantity

CH country acronym for type localities

CH? country acronym for uncertain localities

CH country acronym for recorded localities which have been shown to be demonstrably incorrect by subsequent authors

[note by the authors of this catalogue

[= …currently accepted combination of a type species


AMNH American Museum of Natural History, New York United States

BMNH The Natural History Museum, London United Kingdom

DAAN Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nicosia Cyprus

DEI Deutsches Entomologisches Institut, Müncheberg Germany

DEZA Dipartimento di Entomologia e Zoologia Agraria dell’Università, Portici Italy

EMET Ataturk Universitesi, Faculty of Agriculture, Entomology Museum, Erzurum Turkey

ETHZ Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Entomologische Sammlung, Zürich Switzerland

FMNH Finnish Museum of Natural History, Helsinki Finland

GMUG Universität Göttingen, Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum, Göttingen Germany

HNHM Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest Hungary

IEGG Università di Bologna, Istituto di Entomologia, Bologna Italy

ISZP Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Systematic Zoology, Krakow Poland

IZCAS Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Zoology, Beijing China

KUEC Kyushu University, Fukuoka Japan

LSUK Linnean Society, London United Kingdom

MHNG Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Genève Switzerland

MICN Museo Insular de Ciencias Naturales, Canary Islands, Tenerife Spain

MLUH Martin-Luther-Universität, Wissenschaftsbereich Zoologie, Halle Germany

MNHN Muséum Nationale d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris France

MSDB Museo di Storia Naturale, Torino Italy

MSNG Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genova Italy

MTD Museum für Tierkunde, Dresden Germany

MZLS Musée Zoologique, Lausanne Switzerland

MZLU Lund University, Lund Sweden

NHMB Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel Switzerland

NHRS Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm Sweden

NMBE Naturhistorisches Museum, Bern Switzerland

NMPC National Museum (National History), Prague Czech Republic

NMW Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien Austria

OLML Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz Austria

OUMNH University Museum of Natural History, Oxford United Kingdom

RMNH Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis, Leiden The Netherlands

SEMC University of Kansas, Snow Entomological Museum, Lawrence United States

SMFD Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Senckenberg, Frankfurt am Main Germany

SMNG Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Görlitz Germany

SMNK Staaliches Museum für Naturkunde, Karlsruhe Germany

SMNS Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart Germany

SOFM National Museum of Natural History, Sofia Bulgaria

UASK Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Zoology, Kiev Ukraine

USNM National Museum of Natural History, Washington United States

UWCP University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw Poland

UZIU Uppsala University, Uppsala Sweden

ZIN Russian Academy of Sciences, Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg Russia

ZMHB Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität, Berlin Germany

ZMUC University of Copenhagen, Zoological Museum, Copenhagen Denmark

ZMUM Moscow State University, Moscow Russia

ZSM Zoologische Staatssammlung, München Germany

Geographic distribution

The Palaearctic faunal region comprises the main continental landmasses of temperate Eurasia, the Arabian Peninsula and northern Africa, as well as peripheral archipelagos such as the Azores in the west and Japan to the east. For pragmatic reasons, the precise delimitation of the Palaearctic region applied in this catalogue as well as the classification into the four rather artificial subregions Europe, Northern Africa, Northern Asia and Southwestern Asia (Figure 1) and the assessed geographical units listed below are mainly political. However, biogeographically isolated island groups such as the Canary Islands are recorded separately, even if they are not politically independent. As a shorthand, we apply the widely used international license plate codes for the areas representing independent countries. Following Lelej (2002), the large areas of Russia (RUS) and China (RC) were additionally subdivided into six and seven areas respectively (Figure 2, 3). Similarly, isolated islands or archipelagos were also attributed distinct codes as for instance E(Ca) for the Canary Islands, politically part of Spain (E). Spelling of the standardized geographical entities conforms to the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World (11th edn, 2003). The current country of historical type collection localities was inferred by reference to the Times Atlas of World History (4th edn, 1993) in cases of doubt. We treat all indigenous taxa known to occur in this region. Most problematic in this respect are the transition zone of the Himalayan range and southern China. There are several taxa described from northwestern India not yet recorded from the Palaearctic region as adopted in this catalogue but which might be expected to occur there (Gupta, 1993).

The distributional data given for each species are based on the surveyed literature supplemented with considerable unpublished data derived from our osmiine bee database. Literature data were excluded if there was a well-founded suspicion that the species identification was incorrect. Distributional data that are assumed to be doubtful (i.e. deserving confirmation) are indicated with a question mark. Given the difficulties in identifying osmiine bees due to the poor taxonomic state and the lack of comprehensive keys, the current distributional data are expected to be incomplete and to contain errors.

Figure 1.Map of the Palaearctic region and its four subregions as used in this catalogue. EU: Europe. AF: Northern Africa. AS: Northern Asia. SA: Southwestern Asia.

Figure 2. Map of Russia and its six subunits as used in this catalogue. SR: Southern European Russia. CR: Central European Russia. NR: Northern European Russia. WS: Western Siberia. ES: Eastern Siberia. FS: Far Eastern Siberia. Map adapted from Lelej (2002).

Figure 3. Map of China (excluding Taiwan) and its seven subunits as used in this catalogue. NW: Northwestern China. NO: Northern China. NE: Northeastern China. WP: Western Chinese Plateau. SW: Southwestern China. CE: Central China. SE: Southeastern China. Map adapted from Lelej (2002).

Geographic areas used in this catalogue

Biogeographic regions of the world:

Afr Afrotropic

Aus Australian

Nea Nearctic

Neo Neotropic

Ori Oriental

Pal Palaearctic

Subregions of the Palaearctic:

AF Northern Africa

AS Northern Asia

EU Europe

SA Southwestern Asia

Countries of the Palaearctic:

A (EU)  Austria

AFG (SA)  Afghanistan

AL (EU)  Albania

AND (EU)  Andorra

ARM (EU)  Armenia

AZ (EU)  Azerbaijan

B (EU)  Belgium

BG (EU)  Bulgaria

BIH (EU)  Bosnia and Herzegovina

BRN (SA)  Bahrain

BY (EU)  Belarus

CH (EU)  Switzerland

CY (SA)  Cyprus

CZ (EU)  Czech Republic

D (EU)  Germany

DK (EU)  Denmark

DK(Fa) (EU)  Faroe Islands

DZ (AF)  Algeria

E (EU)/(AF)  Spain

E(Ba) (EU)  Balearic Islands

E(Ca) (AF)  Canary Islands

EST (EU)  Estonia

ET (AF)  Egypt

F (EU)  France

F(Co) (EU)  Corsica

FIN (EU)  Finland

FL (EU)  Liechtenstein

GB (EU)  United Kingdom

GE (EU)  Georgia

GR (EU)  Greece

GR(Cr) (EU)  Crete

H (EU)  Hungary

HR (EU)  Croatia

I (EU)  Italy

I(Sa) (EU)  Sardinia

I(Si) (EU)  Sicily

IL (SA)  Israel and Palestine

IR (SA)  Iran

IRL (EU)  Ireland

IRQ (SA)  Iraq

IS (EU)  Iceland

J (AS)  Japan

JOR (SA)  Jordan

KP (AS)  North Korea

KS (AS)  Kyrgyzstan

KWT (SA)  Kuwait

KZ (EU)/(AS)  Kazakhstan

L (EU)  Luxembourg

LAR (AF)  Libya

LT (EU)  Lithuania

LV (EU)  Latvia

M (EU)  Malta

MA (AF)  Morocco

MD (EU)  Moldova

MGL (AS)  Mongolia

MK (EU)  Macedonia

N (EU)  Norway

NL (EU)  Netherlands

OM (SA)  Oman

P (EU)/(AF)  Portugal

P(Az) (EU)  Azores

P(Ma) (AF)  Madeira

PAK (SA)  Pakistan

PL (EU)  Poland

Q (SA)  Qatar

RC (AS)  China

RC(CE) (AS)  Central China

RC(NE) (AS)  Northeastern China

RC(NO) (AS)  Northern China

RC(NW) (AS)  Northwestern China

RC(SE) (AS)  Southeastern China

RC(SW) (AS)  Southwestern China

RC(WP) (AS)  Western Chinese Plateau

RL (SA)  Lebanon

RO (EU)  Romania

ROK (AS)  South Korea

RUS (EU)/(AS)  Russia

RUS(CR) (EU)  Central European Russia

RUS(ES) (AS)  Eastern Siberia

RUS(FS) (AS)  Far Eastern Siberia

RUS(NR) (EU)  Northern European Russia

RUS(SR) (EU)  Southern European Russia

RUS(WS)(AS)  Western Siberia

S (EU)  Sweden

SA (SA)  Saudi Arabia

SCG (EU)  Serbia and Montenegro

SK (EU)  Slovakia

SLO (EU)  Slovenia

SYR (SA)  Syria

TJ (AS)  Tajikistan

TM (AS)  Turkmenistan

TN (AF)  Tunisia

TR (EU)/(SA)  Turkey

TW (AS)  Taiwan

UA (EU)  Ukraine

UAE (SA)  United Arab Emirates

UZ (AS)  Uzbekistan

Y (SA)  Yemen

Y(So) (SA)  Soqotra

Additionally, the following more loosely defined or border-crossing geographic terms covering certain mountain ranges, peninsulas and deserts are used if a current country could not be attributed with certainty to the locality information given in the literature:

Arabia (SA) for “Arabian Peninsula”, “Arabie”, “Arabien”

Balkans (EU)for “Balkanhalbinsel”, “Balkans”, “Dalmatia”, “Jugoslawien”, “Yugoslavia”

Caucasus (EU) for “Caucasus”, “Kaukasus”, “Transcaucasia”, “Transkaukasien”

Central Asian Ranges (AS) for “Hindu Kush”, “Karakoram”, “Pamir”, “Tien Shan”

Korea (AS) for “Corée”, “Korea”, “Korean Peninsula”

Sahara (AF)for “North African Desert”, “Sahara”

Turkestan (AS) for “Central Asia”, “Karakum Desert”, “Kyzylkum Desert”, “Mittelasien”, “Transcaspia”, “Turcestanica”, “Turkestan”

Species identification

To facilitate the identification of the Palaearctic osmiine bees, we cite for each species all literature sources in which it is described, compared with similar species or contained in keys. We do not cite the reference containing the original description under this section, though the original description often includes extensive descriptions or keys. Instead, these references are cited after each available species-group name.

Nesting behaviour

The description of the nesting behaviour is based on an extensive literature study on osmiine nesting biology as well as on own field observations (A. Müller, C. Praz, J. Neff, G. LeGoff and C. Sedivy, unpublished).

Flower preferences

The data on flower preferences are based on a compilation of flower records from the literature (A. Müller, unpublished) as well as on results of ongoing pollen-analytical studies at the Entomological Collection of the ETH Zürich.