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TaxonomyBrowse
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Species Triepeolus lunatus

small bee - Triepeolus lunatus - male Triepeolus - Triepeolus lunatus - male Triepeolus lunatus Triepeolus (maybe lunatus?) - Triepeolus lunatus Triepeolus lunatus - female Wool carder of some type? - Triepeolus lunatus - female what am I? - Triepeolus lunatus Unknown bee - Triepeolus lunatus - 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)
Tribe Epeolini
Genus Triepeolus
Species lunatus (Triepeolus lunatus)
Other Common Names
Cuckoo Bee
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Epeolus lunatus, Epeolus lunatus concolor, Triepeolus concolor, Triepeolus nautlanus.
Size
9-13 mm.
Identification
Head: Black. Female has dense yellowish hair around antenna bases. Male has silvery hair over entire face. Lower face (clypeus) has a median raised ridge.
Antenna: Black; sometime with reddish-brown on base (scape), pedicel and segment 1.
Thorax: Black; segments have intermittent pale yellowish outline. Collar thick, unbroken. Segment 1 (scutum) has longitudinal indent at mid line, with a pair of very short stripes, one on each side of indent; these stripes do not touch collar. Segment 2 (scutellum) has two thick yellowish lines on lower margin. Segment 3 (propodeum) has an arc of white hair at each side, curving down toward center. Thorax side tubercle has a dense yellowish fringe, and another spot next to it. Female has wide, intermittent line of yellowish hair from tubercle up to wing base and ending in a tuft near propodeum, another crescent patch below tubercle. Thorax side of male sparsely covered with feathery yellowish hair, except for one small bare spot.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish on female, black on male. Wings slightly tinted, tips darker. Veins black.
Legs: Reddish-brown, covered with silvery-white hair. Hind coxa has dense silver-white hair. Thighs (femora) with black streaks on female. Male thighs entirely black. Female has red feet, male has black. Spurs black.
Males from southern U.S. have more red on legs; northern population legs can be almost entirely black.
Abdomen: Black with yellow to pale yellowish stripes; stripes wider on male.
Segment 1 has two stripes. Base stripe is wide with an extremely wide side edge joint. Lower stripe is narrow. Both are interrupted at center. Black area between the two stripes is a small triangle.
Segment 2 stripe narrowly interrupted at center. Side patches present or not.
Segments 3 and 4 stripes continuous across segments. Segment 4 stripe is paler yellow.
Segment 5 on female has a triangular grayish patch at each side edge, pointing inward. Another grayish triangle on lower margin also points inward (or up) and has a dark oval center with dark hairs.
Underside of female blackish. Segments 2 to 4 striped. Segment 5 not concave.

Segments 5 and 6 on male stripes are almost white to silvery-white.
Underside of male 2-3 have white hair stripes; 4-5 have long tufts of brown/white hair. Tip narrowing, square.
Range
From Mexico to Canada, throughout the continent.
Habitat
Forest edges and meadows.
Season
March to October in south; June to August in north.
Food
Visits flowers from several families. The Hosts section on its Discover Life species page lists known floral associations based on specimen records and images.
Life Cycle
Larvae are parasites of Long-horned or Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata.
Remarks
Types:
Holotype: Epeolus lunatus male and female Say 1825. Locality: Missouri. British Museum of Natural History – type lost.
Lectotype: Epeolus lunatus concolor female by Robertson 1898, #8174. Locality Illinois July 24, 1888. In Illinois Natural History Survey; Webb 1980; Lectotype designation by W. E. LaBerge.
Holotype as Triepeolus nautlanus male Cockerell 1904. #9705. Locality: Vera Cruz, Mexico. In U. S. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian. New synonymy. Photos.
Michigan Museum of Natural History has 5 specimens.
See Also
Similar Species: T. simplex has median stripes on thorax touching collar. Underside of abdominal segments 2-4 striped in T. lunatus, but side tufts only in T. simplex. Male underside on segment 5 has a very short tuft on T. simplex; a long tuft on T. lunatus. T. simplex lacks midline ridge on clypeus.
Print References
Rightmyer, M.G. 2008. A Review of the Cleptoparasitic Bee Genus Triepeolus (Hymenoptera: Apidae).
Internet References
Long’s Second Expedition, 1824, Vol. 1, pg. 240 by Say.
Procedures of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia, 1863-64, Vol. 2, pp. 394 to 395 by Cresson.
Transactions of Academy of Sciences of St. Louis, 1894-97, Vol. 7, pp. 342-343 by Robertson.
Transactions of Academy of Sciences of St. Louis, 1898. Vol. 8, pg. 51 by Robertson.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1903, Vol. 35, keys by Robertson.
Entomological News, 1903, Vol. 14, pp. 79 to 81: Keys by Brues.
Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 1904, Series 7, Vol. 13, pg. 36 by Cockerell as T. nautlanus.
Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 1907, Series 7, Vol. 20, by Cockerell, pg. 62, keys.
American Museum Novitates, 1921, Vol. 23, pp. 13 to 14 key by Cockerell.
North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, 1962, #152: Bees of the eastern United States by Mitchell.