Subgenus Allosmia

The subgenus Allosmia Tkalcu is confined to the Palaearctic region. It contains 9 described species.

Female of Osmia (Allosmia) melanura Morawitz, 1871 closing her nest in an empty snail shell with chewed green leaves and broken pieces of snail shells. Foto A. Müller.

Species accounts

Osmia (Allosmia) bischoffi Atanassov, 1938

1938 Osmia bischoffi Atanassov, Mitteilungen aus den Königlichen Naturwissenschaftlichen Instituten in Sofia, Bulgarien, 11: 180. Type material: Holotype m, “im Park des Palais Euxinograd bei Warna am Schwarzen Meer” [Bulgaria], SOFM (Sofia).-Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) bischoffi (Atanassov) in Zanden (1988b: 120).

Distribution-Europe: BG, GR, HR, RO. Southwestern Asia: TR.

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

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Preexisting cavities: empty snail shells of small size. Nesting material: Unknown. The shell surface is plastered with patches of leaf pulp, suggesting that chewed leaves are also used to close the nest. (Atanassov, 1938; A. W. Ebmer, personal communication).

Flower preferences: Polylectic, pollen sources include Fabaceae, Cichorioideae, Convolvulaceae, Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Dipsacaceae and monocots (A. Müller, unpublished, based on 18 pollen samples from 6 different localities).

Osmia (Allosmia) imitatrix (Tkalcu, 1992)

1992 Hoplitis (Allosmia) imitatrix Tkalcu, Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemoslovacae (Praha), 56: 219. Type material: Holotype f, “Kara-kala” [Turkmenistan], Halada Collection.

Distribution-Northern Asia: TM.

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

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: Unknown.

Osmia (Allosmia) lhotelleriei Pérez, 1887

1887 Osmia Lhotelleriei Pérez, Revue d’Entomologie, Société Française d’Entomologie, 6: 178. Type material: Lectotype f, by designation of Tkalcu (1975a: 180), “Égypte” [Egypt], MNHN (Paris).-Combination Osmia (Osmia) lhotelleriei Pérez in Friese (1911b: 85). Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) lhotelleriei (Pérez) in Zanden (1988b: 120).

1890 Osmia fossoria Pérez, in: Ferton, Actes de la Société Linnéenne de Bordeaux, 44: 201. Type material: Lectotype f, by designation of Tkalcu (1974b: 333), “Alger” [Algeria], MNHN (Paris).-Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) sybarita fossoria (Pérez) in Tkalcu (1974b: 333). Combination Osmia (Allosmia) sybarita fossoria Pérez in Ungricht et al. (2008: 140). New synonymy based on the original description, Tkalcu (1974b) and a large Allosmia material from North Africa (A. Müller, unpublished).

1899 Osmia duckei Friese, Entomologische Nachrichten (Berlin), 25: 27. Type material: Syntypes mm, “Alger” [Algeria].-Synonymy with Osmia fossoria Pérez in Friese (1911b: 86).

Distribution-Northern Africa: DZ, ET, MA, LAR, TN. Southwestern Asia: IL, JOR, SYR.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Ducke (1900); Stanek (1969a: 23-24); Tkalcu (1974b: 333).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Preexisting cavities: empty snail shells of small size (e.g. Helicella, Theba) with 1 cell per shell. After the shell is closed, it is transported to a suitable place, where it is shallowly buried into the sandy ground (ca. 1.5mm deep). Nesting material: The shells are closed a few millimetres behind the shell opening with a partition made of chewed leaf pulp; this partition is then used as the base for the thick nest plug, which is built by embedding broken snail shells into a matrix of pulp consisting of green leaves of various plant species or occasionally petals. The shell surface is not plastered with patches of leaf pulp. Brood parasites: Chrysura osiris. (Buysson, 1887, 1908; Ferton, 1890; Friese, 1923; O’Toole & Raw, 1991).

Flower preferences: Polylectic, pollen sources include Fabaceae, Asteraceae (Asteroideae, Carduoideae, Cichorioideae), Cistaceae, Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Boraginaceae (e.g. Echium), Resedaceae, Papaver (Papaveraceae), Antirrhineae and monocots (A. Müller, unpublished, based on 43 pollen samples from 20 different localities).

Osmia (Allosmia) melanura Morawitz, 1871

1871 Osmia melanura Morawitz, Horae Societatis Entomologicae Rossicae (St. Petersburg), 8: 203. Type material: f(f), “Calabria” [Italy].-Combination Osmia (Osmia) melanura Morawitz in Friese (1911b: 108). Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) melanura (Morawitz) in Zanden (1988b: 120).

1886 Osmia decorata Morawitz, Horae Societatis Entomologicae Rossicae (St. Petersburg), 20: 71. Type material: m(m), “Talysch-Karabach-Jurdi” [Caucasus], ZIN (St. Petersburg).-Combination Osmia (Osmia) decorata Morawitz in Friese (1911b: 107). Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) decorata (Morawitz) in Zanden (1988b: 120). New synonymy based on the original descriptions and topotypical specimens (A. Müller, unpublished). 

Distribution-Europe: ARM, BG, F?, GR, I, I(Si), MK, UA; Caucasus. Southwestern Asia: TR.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Banaszak and Romasenko (2001); Ducke (1900); Schmiedeknecht (1885-1886).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Preexisting cavities: empty snail shells of small size (e.g. Theba) with 1 cell per shell. After the shell is closed, it is transported over a short distance of up to 50cm and then buried into the sandy ground (ca. 1-2cm deep). Nesting material: The shells are closed 2-3 mm behind the shell opening with a partition made of chewed leaf pulp; this partition is then used as the base for the thick nest plug which is built by embedding broken pieces of snail shells into a matrix of leaf pulp. The shell surface is not plastered with patches of leaf pulp. (Müller, 1992)

Flower preferences: Polylectic, pollen sources include Fabaceae (e.g. Lotus creticus, Medicago marina, Hedysareae), Asteraceae, Boraginaceae (e.g. Echium), Caryophyllaceae, Brassicaceae, Cistaceae and Lamiaceae (Müller, 1992; A. Müller, unpublished, based on 5 pollen samples from 4 different localities).

Osmia (Allosmia) nuda Friese, 1899

1899 Osmia nuda Friese, Entomologische Nachrichten (Berlin), 25: 328. Type material: Lectotype f, by designation of G. van der Zanden (A. Müller, unpublished), “Balkan” [Balkans], ZMHB (Berlin).-Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) nuda (Friese) in Özbek and Zanden (1992a: 21).-Synonymy with Chelostoma ventrale Schletterer in Warncke (1986: 75), rejected by Özbek and Zanden (1992a: 21).

Distribution-Europe: BG. Southwestern Asia: TR.

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

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: Unknown.

Osmia (Allosmia) rufohirta Latreille, 1811

1811 Osmia rufo-hirta Latreille, Encyclopédie Méthodique, Histoire Naturelle, Insectes, vol. 8, p. 580 [not seen]. Type material: Syntypes ff, “France” [France], “Allemagne” [Germany]. Type species of Allosmia Tkalcu.-Combination Osmia (Acanthosmia) rufohirta Latreille in Schmiedeknecht (1885: 21 [887]). Combination Osmia (Osmia) rufohirta Latreille in Friese (1911b: 85). Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) rufohirta (Latreille) in Tkalcu (1974b: 331).

1841 Osmia fulvo-hirta Lepeletier, Histoire Naturelle des Insectes, Hyménoptères, vol. 2, p. 322. Type material: Lectotype f, by designation of Tkalcu (1974c: 331), “Environs de Paris” [France], MNHN (Paris).-Synonymy in Dalla Torre (1896: 410).

1857 Osmia spiniventris Giraud, Verhandlungen des Zoologisch-Botanischen Vereins in Wien, 7: 181. Type material: Syntypes mm, “Autriche” [Austria], “Carniole” [Slovenia], “Italie” [Italy], “Hongrie” [Hungary].-Synonymy in Dalla Torre (1896: 410).

Distribution-Europe: A, AL, ARM, B, BG, BY, CH, CZ, D, E, F, F(Co), FL, GE, GR, H, HR, I, I(Sa), I(Si), L, M, MK, P, RO, RUS, SK, SLO, UA. Northern Africa: DZ, MA, TN. Northern Asia: RC; Turkestan. Southwestern Asia: IL, IR, JOR, SYR, TR.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Amiet et al. (2004); Banaszak and Romasenko (2001); Benoist (1931); Ducke (1900); Móczár (1958); Radoszkowski (1887a: 290); Scheuchl (1996); Schmiedeknecht (1885-1886); Tkalcu (1974b: 332, 1992: 219); Wu (2006).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Preexisting cavities: empty snail shells of small to medium size (e.g. Bulimus, Candidula, Helicella, Helicopsis, Monacha, Pomatias, Theba, Xerolenta, Xerophila, Zebrina) with 1 cell per shell. The closed shells are transported over a distance of up to 2.2m to a sheltered place, e.g. underside of a stone, below leaves or in grass tussocks; rarely, this transport takes place before nest provisioning. Occasionally, the shells are shallowly buried in loose soil. Nesting material: The shells are closed with a three-layered plug consisting of a layer of small stones and earth crumbs delimited on both sides by a partition made of chewed leaves (e.g. Helianthemum) or petals (e.g. Lotus). The shell surface is densely plastered with patches of leaf pulp. (Banaszak & Romasenko, 2001; Bellmann, 1981; Benoist, 1931; Bonelli, 1971, 1972; Ferton, 1894, 1897, 1905; Gogala, 1999; Grandi, 1961; Grozdanic, 1969; Müller et al., 1997; Westrich, 1989; G. Le Goff, personal observation).

Flower preferences: Polylectic with a preference for Fabaceae (e.g. Hippocrepis comosa, Lotus corniculatus, Onobrychis viciifolia, Trifolium); other pollen sources include Asteraceae (Asteroideae, Carduoideae and Cichorioideae), Brassicaceae, Cistaceae (e.g. Helianthemum nummularium), Campanulaceae, Boraginaceae (e.g. Echium), Convolvulaceae and Lamiaceae (Amiet et al., 2004; Müller et al., 1997; Westrich, 1989; A. Müller, unpublished, based on 32 pollen samples from 24 different localities).

subspecies rufohirta Latreille, 1811

1811 Automatically established nominotypical subspecific taxon (original description and type specimen are identical with those of the species rank taxon of the same name above).

Distribution-Europe: A, AL, ARM, B, BG, BY, CH, CZ, D, E, F, F(Co), FL, GE, GR, H, I, I(Sa), I(Si), L, M?, MK, P, RO, RUS, SK, SLO, UA. Northern Asia: RC; Turkestan. Southwestern Asia: IR, SYR, TR.

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

subspecies soror Pérez, 1896

1895 Osmia cognata Pérez, Espèces nouvelles de mellifères de Barbarie, p. 12. NOMEN PRAEOCCUPATUM [not Osmia cognata Cresson, 1864]. Type material: f(f), [Algeria], MNHN (Paris).

1896 Osmia soror Pérez, Correctures: Espèces nouvelles de mellifères de Barbarie, not paginated single page appendix. NOMEN NOVUM with same type specimen for preoccupied Osmia cognata Pérez, 1895 [not Osmia cognata Cresson, 1864].-Synonymy with Osmia rufohirta Latreille in Friese (1911b: 85).-Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) rufohirta soror (Pérez) in Zanden (1988b: 120).

Distribution-Northern Africa: DZ, MA, TN. Southwestern Asia: IL, JOR.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: No supplementary or more detailed morphological descriription known.

Osmia (Allosmia) rufotibialis Friese, 1920

1920 Osmia rufotibialis Friese, Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift (Berlin), 1920: 50. Type material: f(f), “Ain Dilb” [Palestine], ZMHB (Berlin).-Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) rufotibialis (Friese) in Zanden (1988b: 120).

Distribution-Southwestern Asia: IL, JOR.

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

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: Polylectic, pollen sources include Fabaceae (e.g. Trifolium), Asteraceae (Carduoideae and Cichorioideae), Brassicaceae, Boraginaceae (e.g. Echium), Lamiaceae and monocots (A. Müller, unpublished, based on 13 pollen samples from 10 different localities).

Osmia (Allosmia) rutila Erichson, 1835

1835 Osmia rutila Erichson, in: Waltl, Reise durch Tirol, Oberitalien und Piemont nach dem südlichen Spanien (Passau), vol. 2, p. 107. Type material: Holotype f, “Andalusien” [Spain], ZMHB (Berlin).-Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) rutila (Erichson) in Zanden (1988b: 120).

1843 Osmia baetica Spinola, Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, ser. 2, 1: 142. Type material: f(f), [Spain].-Synonymy in Dalla Torre (1896: 410), but see Zanden (1987: 75).

1895 Osmia xanthognatha Pérez, Espèces nouvelles de mellifères de Barbarie, p. 12. Type material: Lectotype f, by designation of Zanden (1988a: 60), “Tanger” [Morocco], MNHN (Paris).-Combination Osmia (Osmia) xanthognatha Pérez in Friese (1911b: 107).-Synonymy in Zanden (1987: 75).

Distribution-Europe: E. Northern Africa: DZ,MA.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Benoist (1950b: 186); Ducke (1900); Zanden (1985: 69).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Preexisting cavities: empty snail shells of small size (e.g. Helicella) with 1 cell per shell. The closed shells are transported over a distance of up to 3m and then buried into the sandy ground (ca. 3-3,5cm deep). Nesting material: The shells are closed a few millimetres behind the shell opening with a partition made of chewed leaf pulp; this partition is then used as the base for the thick nest plug, which is built by embedding broken gastropod and mussel shells, sometimes also small stones, into a matrix of leaf pulp. The shell surface is not plastered with patches of leaf pulp. (Haeseler, 1997)

Flower preferences: Polylectic with a preference for Fabaceae (e.g. Lotus creticus, Medicago marina), other pollen sources include Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Boraginaceae (e.g. Echium) and Oxalidaceae (e.g. Oxalis pes-caprae) (Haeseler, 1997, 2008; A. Müller, unpublished, based on 16 pollen samples from 6 different localities).

Osmia (Allosmia) sybarita Smith, 1853

1853 Osmia sybarita Smith, Catalogue of Hymenopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, vol. 1, p. 140. Type material: Holotype f, “Albania” [Albania], BMNH (London).-Combination Hoplitis (Allosmia) sybarita (Smith) in Tkalcu (1974b: 333).

1873 Osmia ruficollis Sichel, in: Dours, Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Appliqué, ser. 3, 1: 297. Type material: Syntypes mm, ff, “Iles de l’Archipel grec” [Greece], MNHN (Paris).-Synonymy in Zanden (1988b: 120).

Distribution-Europe: AL, BG, GR, GR(Cr). Southwestern Asia: CY, IL, JOR, SYR, TR.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Ducke (1900); Tkalcu (1974b: 332-333).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Preexisting cavities: empty snail shells of small size (e.g. Helicella, Trochoidea, Xerocrassa) with 1 cell per shell. The closed shells are transported over a distance of up to 40cm to a suitable place, where they are buried into the sandy ground, or – if the ground is too hard to dig – hidden under low vegetation. Nesting material: The shells are sealed by embedding broken pieces of snail shells into a matrix of leaf pulp. The shell surface is not plastered with patches of leaf pulp. Brood parasites: Chrysura dichroa. (Haeseler, 1997; Mavromoustakis, 1939b, 1948c: O’Toole & Raw, 1991; Vereecken & Le Goff, 2012; G. Le Goff, personal communication; A. Müller, personal observation)

Flower preferences: Polylectic, pollen sources include Fabaceae, Asteraceae (Asteroideae, Carduoideae and Cichorioideae), Boraginaceae (e.g. Echium), Brassicaceae and Lamiaceae (A. Müller, unpublished, based on 32 pollen samples from 26 different localities).