Subgenus Hemiosmia

The subgenus Hemiosmia Tkalcu is confined to the Palaearctic region. It contains 8 described species.

Female of Osmia (Hemiosmia) uncicornis Pérez, 1895 entering her nest burrow excavated in loose soil (left); excavated brood cell of the same species entirely consisting of chewed leaves (right). Fotos V. Haeseler.

Species accounts

Osmia (Hemiosmia) spinicoxa Müller, 2020

2020 Osmia (Hemiosmia) spinicoxa Müller, Zootaxa, 4778: 208. Type material: Holotype f, “Tajgalte at road to Tizi-n-Test and Ijoukak” [Morocco], ETHZ (Zurich).

Distribution-Northern Africa: MA.

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

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: The only two pollen loads available consisted of pollen of Loteae (Fabaceae) and small amounts of an unknown hexacolpate pollen type (Müller, 2020).

uncicornis species group

Osmia (Hemiosmia) anceps Pérez, 1895

1895 Osmia anceps Pérez, Espèces nouvelles de mellifères de Barbarie, p. 11. Type material: Lectotype f, by designation of Tkalcu (1975b: 46), “Médénin” [Tunisia], MNHN (Paris).-Combination Osmia (Osmia) anceps Pérez in Friese (1911b: 89).-Synonymy with Osmia uncicornis Pérez in Tkalcu (1975b: 45), rejected by Haeseler (2005: 489).

1975 Osmia (Hemiosmia) pulchra Tkalcu, Acta Entomologica Bohemoslovaca (Praha), 72: 46. Type material: Holotype m, “Gafsa” [Tunisia], MNHN (Paris).-Synonymy in Haeseler (2005: 475).

Distribution-Northern Africa: DZ, LAR, TN.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Haeseler (2005); Tkalcu (1975b); Müller (2020).

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: Oligolectic on Fabaceae with strong preference for Loteae (e.g. Lotus, Hippocrepis) (Müller, 2020).

Osmia (Hemiosmia) argyropyga Pérez, 1879

1879 Osmia argyropyga Pérez, Actes de la Société Linnéenne de Bordeaux, 33: 175. Type material: Lectotype f, by designation of Tkalcu (1975b: 38), “Marseille” [France], MNHN (Paris). Type species of Hemiosmia Tkalcu.-Combination Osmia (Acanthosmia) argyropyga Pérez in Schmiedeknecht (1885: 21 [887]). Combination Osmia (Osmia) argyropyga Pérez in Friese (1911b: 90).

1879 Osmia entoprocta Pérez, Actes de la Société Linnéenne de Bordeaux, 33: 179. Type material: Lectotype m, by designation of Tkalcu (1975b: 38), “Marseille” [France], MNHN (Paris).-Combination Osmia (Helicosmia) entoprocta Pérez in Schmiedeknecht (1885: 22 [888]). Combination Osmia (Osmia) entoprocta Pérez in Friese (1911b: 89).-Synonymy in Tkalcu (1975b: 38).

Distribution-Europe: E, F, I, P. Northern Africa: DZ, MA, TN.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Benoist (1931); Ducke (1900); Haeseler (2005); Schmiedeknecht (1885-1886); Tkalcu (1975b); Müller (2020).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: O. argyropyga was reported to nest in old brood cells of Megachile (Chalicodoma) pyrenaica Lepeletier (Grandi, 1962). However, this observation is probably erroneous as such a behaviour strongly deviates from the nesting biology of the closely related and morphologically very similar species O. balearica and O. uncicornis. Nesting material: Several females were observed to collect leaf material on Helianthemum. (Müller, 2020)

Flower preferences: Oligolectic on Fabaceae with strong preference for Loteae (e.g. Lotus, Hippocrepis, Anthyllis); additional pollen hosts are species of Psoraleeae (e.g. Psoralea), other Fabaceae tribes and, according to a label record, Fabeae (e.g. Lathyrus) (Müller, 2020).

Osmia (Hemiosmia) balearica Schmiedeknecht, 1886

1886 Osmia balearica Schmiedeknecht, Apidae Europaeae, vol. 2, p. 177 [1043]. Type material: Lectotype m, by designation of Haeseler (2005: 477), “Palma” [Spain: Balearic Islands], ZMHB (Berlin).-Combination Osmia (Helicosmia) balearica Schmiedeknecht in Schmiedeknecht (1885: 22 [888]). Combination Osmia (Osmia) balearica Schmiedeknecht in Friese (1911b: 89).

Distribution-Europe: E, E(Ba).

Identification-Keys, Descriptions:Ducke (1900);Haeseler (2005); Schmiedeknecht (1885-1886); Tkalcu (1975b); Müller (2020).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Excavated burrows (3-5cm deep) in loose sandy ground of coastal zones, often in small aggregations. At the end of the burrow one to several urn-shaped brood cells of 1 cm length and 0.6 cm maximal width are constructed immediately beside each other. The nest entrance is often near dead plants, whose roots serve to fix the cells in the ground. Nesting material: The cells are entirely made of leaf pulp collected from Lotus, Medicago, Ononis (all Fabaceae), Convolvulus (Convolvulaceae) or Cistus (Cistaceae). The construction of a single brood cell requires 61-73 flights with leaf pulp and lasts more than two days, the provisioning of the cell needs 18 foraging bouts completed within 3.5-4.3 h and the construction of a nest with a single cell takes about three days. (Haeseler 2005, 2008; Müller, 2020). 

Male mating behaviour: The males were observed to pull the crenulate underside of their antennae jerkily along the female antennae during courtship (Haeseler, 2008). 

Osmia (Hemiosmia) chrysolepta Haeseler, 2005

2005 Osmia (Hemiosmia) chrysolepta Haeseler, Entomofauna (Ansfelden), 26: 479. Type material: Holotype m, “Tel-Aviv” [Israel], Schwarz Collection (Ansfelden); paratypes mm, ff.

Distribution- Northern Africa: ET, LAR. Southwestern Asia: IL, JOR.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Müller (2020).

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: Oligolectic on Fabaceae with strong preference for Loteae (e.g. Lotus); additional pollen hosts are species of Genisteae and other Fabaceae tribes. Four out of 18 scopal loads analysed contained small amounts of pollen of Echium (Boraginaceae) and Zygophyllaceae, suggesting that flowers of these two plant taxa might very rarely also be exploited (Müller, 2020).

Osmia (Hemiosmia) uncicornis Pérez, 1895

1895 Osmia uncicornis Pérez, Espèces nouvelles de mellifères de Barbarie, p. 10. Type material: m(m), no original material known.-Combination Osmia (Osmia) uncicornis Pérez in Friese (1911b: 89).

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

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Haeseler (2005); Tkalcu (1975b); Müller (2020).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Excavated burrows (3-5cm deep) in loose sandy ground, often in small aggregations. At the end of the burrow, one to several urn-shaped brood cells are constructed immediately beside each other. The nest entrance is often near dead plants, whose roots serve to fix the cells in the ground. Nesting material: The cells are entirely made of chewed leaves. Brood parasites: Dioxys ardens and possibly Stelis ortizi. (Haeseler, 2005, 2008; Baldock et al., 2018; Müller, 2020)

Flower preferences: Oligolectic on Fabaceae with strong preference for Loteae (e.g. Lotus, Hippocrepis); additional pollen hosts are species of Trifolieae (e.g. Medicago) (Haeseler, 2008; Baldock et al., 2018; Müller, 2020).

difficilis species group (“Exosmia“)

Osmia (Hemiosmia) difficilis Morawitz, 1875

1875 Osmia difficilis Morawitz, Travel to Turkestan by A. P. Fedtschenko, p. 91. Type material: f(f), “in valle Sarafschan” [Tajikistan]. Type species of Exosmia Tkalcu.-Combination Osmia (Osmia) difficilis Morawitz in Friese (1911b: 87). Combination Osmia (Exosmia) difficilis Morawitz in Zanden (1988b: 125) and in Warncke (1988b: 397).

1875 Osmia falcata Morawitz, Travel to Turkestan by A. P. Fedtschenko, p. 102. Type material: m(m), “in valle Sarafschan” [Tajikistan].-Combination Osmia (Osmia) falcata Morawitz in Friese (1911b: 90).-Synonymy in Popov (1960a: 435).

1935 Osmia alborufa Alfken, Entomologische Rundschau (Stuttgart), 52: 161. Type material: Holotype f, “bei Ankara in Anatolien und auf der Reise nach da” [Turkey], SMFD (Frankfurt); paratype f.-Synonymy in Warncke (1988b: 398).

Distribution-Europe: AZ. Northern Asia: KS, KZ, TJ, UZ. Southwestern Asia: IL, IR, RL, SYR, TR.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Ducke (1900); Popov (1960a: 435-437); Tkalcu (1979: 321); Warncke (1988b); Zanden (1987: 73-74); Müller (2020).

Nesting biology-Nesting site: Excavated burrow (4cm deep) in very loose, sandy to gravelly ground with one cell at the end. Nesting material: The urn-shaped cells (15mm long, 8mm wide) are entirely made of finely chewed leaves. Although consisting only of leaf pulp, the cell walls (ranging in thickness from 0.3mm to 1mm) are surprisingly solid withstanding high physical pressure. In contrast to O. balearica and O. uncicornis, the cells are not attached to roots in the ground. (Müller, 2020)

Flower preferences: Oligolectic on Fabaceae; pollen hosts are species of Galegeae (e.g. Astragalus), Genisteae, Hedysareae (e.g. Onobrychis), Loteae (e.g. Lotus), Trifolieae (e.g. Medicago, Trifolium) and other Fabaceae tribes. The larval provision of one brood cell from Iran exlusively consisted of pollen of Astragalus. (Popov 1960; Özbek 1979, 2013; Özbek & Zanden 1992; Müller, 2020).

Osmia (Hemiosmia) iberica Zanden, 1987

1987 Osmia (Exosmia) iberica Zanden, Reichenbachia (Dresden), 25: 73. Type material: Holotype m, “La Gargenta (Caceres)” [Spain], RMNH (Leiden); paratypes mm, ff.

1988 Osmia (Exosmia) difficilis clanga Warncke, Entomofauna (Ansfelden), 9: 398. Type material: Holotypus m, “Alia de las Bojes/Granada, 1200 m” [Spain], OLML (Linz).-Synonymy in Zanden (1991c: 166).

Distribution-Europe: E, P.

Identification-Keys, Descriptions: Müller (2020).

Nesting biology: Unknown.

Flower preferences: Possibly mesolectic on Fabaceae and Antirrhineae; pollen hosts among the Fabaceae are species of Genisteae, Hedysareae (e.g. Onobrychis), Loteae (e.g. Dorycnium, Lotus), Trifolieae (e.g. Trifolium) and other tribes (Baldock et al., 2018; Müller, 2020).