Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification

Cleptoparasitic Bees of the Genus Epeolus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Canada

CJAI 30 -- March 30, 2017

Thomas M. Onuferko

Department of Biology, York University 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 (

| Abstract | Introduction | Methods | Taxonomy & Biology | Checklist | Keys to species | Acknowledgments | References | PDF | Cite |


The species of the cleptoparasitic (cuckoo) bee genus Epeolus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae) occurring in Canada are revised. A total of 12 species are confirmed, with one additional species (E. ilicis Mitchell) listed as possibly occurring in Canada. Morphological comparisons of primary types and continuous variation within species, in addition to DNA barcode sequence analysis of recently collected specimens from across the range of each species support the following proposed synonymies: E. lanhami Mitchell, syn. n., and E. montanus (Cresson), syn. n., under E. americanus (Cresson); E. gabrielis (Cockerell), syn. n., E. geminatus Cockerell and Sandhouse, syn. n., and E. hitei Cockerell, syn. n., under E. compactus Cresson; E. arciferus Cockerell, syn. n., E. beulahensis Cockerell, syn. n., E. lutzi Cockerell, syn. n., E. lutzi dimissus Cockerell, syn. n., and E. pilatei Cockerell, syn. n., under E. minimus (Robertson); and E. humillimus Cockerell, syn. n., E. rubrostictus Cockerell and Sandhouse, syn. n., E. rufomaculatus Cockerell and Sandhouse, syn. n., and E. tristicolor Viereck, syn. n., under E. olympiellus Cockerell. The synonyms of E. americanus, E. compactus, and E. minimus proposed here were first proposed by Richard L. Brumley in an M.Sc. thesis published in 1965, but have until now not been validated. A dichotomous identification key to the Canadian species is presented, and their biology and life history is discussed and contrasted with that of Triepeolus Robertson and other cuckoo bees.

A corrigendum to this paper has been published (June 6, 2018) doi: 10.3752/cjai.2018.AC02

Epeolus olympiellus Cockerell. Photo by S. McCann