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Subfamily Nomadinae - Cuckoo Bees

Holcopasites calliopsidis - male Red Cuckoo Bee - Nomada Perdita (?) - Oreopasites Triepeolus sp.? - Epeolus scutellaris Ericrocis lata Neolarra - Neolarra californica wasp? - Nomada utahensis Cuckoo Bee - Nomada luteoloides - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees)
Family Apidae (Cuckoo, Carpenter, Digger, Bumble, and Honey Bees)
Subfamily Nomadinae (Cuckoo Bees)
Numbers
>500 spp. in 14 genera of 9 tribes in our area, ~1,230 spp. (of which >700 are in Nomada) in 32 genera of 10 tribes worldwide(1)
Identification
All lack a pollen-transporting apparatus and many are strikingly wasp-like in appearance(2). The apex of the metasoma of females is modified for placing their eggs within host nests.
Range
worldwide, most diverse in NA; all the tribes are represented in the New World, but only 5 in the Old World, where they are most diverse in the Palaearctic, rather poorly represented in the Subsaharan Africa (65 spp.), SE Asia (<30 spp.) and especially Australasia(1)
Season
Many Nomada emerge very early in spring whereas other Nomada and many species in tribes such as Epeolini fly in summer and fall.
Food
All are cleptoparasites of other bees.
Life Cycle
All are parasites in the nests of other bees.(2) They enter the nests of their hosts when the host is absent and lay their eggs into the wall of the cell.(3) Females produce many more eggs than their hosts and these are very small.(2)
Remarks
Various other tribes including Melectini, Rhathymini, Ericrocidini, Osirini, and Protepeolini, have been associated with Nomadinae in the past, whereas evidence from life history studies by Rozen support multiple independent origins of these.
Recent molecular phylogenies proposing a single origin of cleptoparasitism for most apid cleptoparasites (i.e. for inclusion of all nomadine and most apine cleptoparasites in a single clade) have strong clade support only by measures such as Bayesian PP that are well known to be inflated, and support is lacking by more conservative measures such as the parsimony jackknife.
Print References
Many papers by Rozen in American Museum Novitates
Internet References
Papers by Rozen in American Museum Novitates are publicly accessible online