Hoplitis (Formicapis)

Müller, Andreas & Mauss, Volker, 2016, Palaearctic Hoplitis bees of the subgenera Formicapis and Tkalcua (Megachilidae, Osmiini): biology, taxonomy and key to species, Zootaxa 4127 (1), pp. 105-120: 107

publication ID

http://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4127.1.5

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:DEC9BBB1-254C-4CF9-9AD6-F909EF1ADD8B

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/3526F139-4835-C510-FF2F-0EB96C20F2DF

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Hoplitis (Formicapis)
status

 

Biology of Hoplitis (Formicapis)  and H. (Tkalcua)

Hoplitis (Formicapis)  species show a close affinity to flowers of Rosaceae  as pollen sources (for details see species accounts). Among the Rosaceae  , herbaceous taxa such as Fragaria  or Potentilla  are the most important or even the exclusive hosts. While H. maritima ( Romankova 1985)  and possibly also H. excisa  might be strictly specialized on Rosaceae  , H. robusta  is polylectic with a distinct preference for Potentilla  ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 1 – 8. 1, Tab. 1). Both H. maritima  and H. robusta  nest in insect burrows in dead wood and use chewed leaves to build cell partitions and nest plug (for details see species accounts). In the latter species, small pieces of wood are sometimes incorporated into the leaf matrix of the cell partitions.

Information on the biology of Hoplitis (Tkalcua)  is available only for H. zandeni  (for details see species account). Recent observations on Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) revealed that this species is polylectic harvesting pollen on flowers of at least six plant families ( Tab. 1), but probably not on Asteraceae  . Interestingly, species of H. (Platosmia), the probable sister group of H. (Tkalcua), have a strong affinity to pollen of Fabaceae  and/or Resedaceae ( Müller 2015)  , which are also the two most important pollen host taxa exploited by H. zandeni  ( Tab. 1). Whether this merely reflects the flower supply at the study sites or indicates some underlying phylogenetic pattern remains unclear. H. zandeni  nests in empty snail shells and constructs 1–2 brood cells per shell ( Figs. 11– 16View FIGURE 9 – 14View FIGURE 15 – 18). Cell partitions and nest plug consist of chewed leaves densely mixed with sand grains ( Figs. 13–16View FIGURE 9 – 14View FIGURE 15 – 18). Interestingly, the nest plug is not built at the shell opening as in all other snail-shell nesting osmiine bee species known so far (A. Müller unpublished) but inside the shell about 1 / 3 to 1 whorl behind the shell aperture ( Fig. 13View FIGURE 9 – 14). In contrast to other osmiine bee genera such as Osmia  , Protosmia  or Wainia  , where nesting in empty snail shells is rather widespread ( Kuhlmann et al. 2011; Müller 2016), snail-shell nesting in the genus Hoplitis  has been reported so far beside H. zandeni  only for the Afrotropic Hoplitis (Anthocopa) conchophila Kuhlmann  and the Palaearctic Hoplitis (Hoplitis) fertoni (Pérez)  ( Gess & Gess 1999, 2008; Kuhlmann et al. 2011; Sedivy et al. 2013 b), indicating three independent origins of snail-shell nesting in Hoplitis  .

TABLE 1. Pollen host spectrum of Hoplitis (Formicapis) robusta and Hoplitis (Tkalcua) zandeni based on 22 female pollen loads from 20 different localities in Switzerland (n = 13), Austria (n = 2), Finland (n = 5) and the USA (n = 2), and on 29 female pollen loads from 6 different localities on Fuerteventura (Canary Islands). For H. zandeni, results of the analysis of 14 brood cell provisions originating from 12 nests from the same locality on Fuerteventura are additionally given.

number (%) of brood cells with this pollen type(s)
Hoplitis zandeni
Helianthemum canariense

TABLE 1. Pollen host spectrum of Hoplitis (Formicapis) robusta and Hoplitis (Tkalcua) zandeni based on 22 female pollen loads from 20 different localities in Switzerland (n = 13), Austria (n = 2), Finland (n = 5) and the USA (n = 2), and on 29 female pollen loads from 6 different localities on Fuerteventura (Canary Islands). For H. zandeni, results of the analysis of 14 brood cell provisions originating from 12 nests from the same locality on Fuerteventura are additionally given.

number (%) of brood cells with this pollen type(s)
Hoplitis zandeni
Helianthemum canariense

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Megachilidae

Genus

Hoplitis

Loc

Hoplitis (Formicapis)

Müller, Andreas & Mauss, Volker 2016

2016
Loc

Resedaceae ( Müller 2015 )

Muller 2015

2015
Loc

H. maritima (

Romankova 1985

1985