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Species Epeolus bifasciatus - Two-banded Cellophane-cuckoo

Cuckoo bee - Epeolus bifasciatus - female Epeolus bifasciatus? - Epeolus bifasciatus Epeolus bifasciatus Cuckoo bee - Epeolus bifasciatus Epeolus bifasciatus? - Epeolus bifasciatus Small, Stout Wasp - Epeolus bifasciatus Cuckoo Bee - Epeolus bifasciatus? - Epeolus bifasciatus - male Cuckoo Bee - Epeolus bifasciatus? - Epeolus bifasciatus - male
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 Epeolus (Cellophane-cuckoos)
Species bifasciatus (Two-banded Cellophane-cuckoo)
Other Common Names
Cuckoo Bee
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
7 to 9 mm long.
Male and female similar. Abdomen has only 2 yellowish stripes. Thorax segment 2 (scutellum) entirely red.

Head: White hairs faintly circle antenna bases in female. Cheeks very narrow.
Antenna: Scape and segment 1 reddish, rest of segments black, antenna short.
Thorax: Black. Collar scaly light yellow, not interrupted at center. Segment 1 (scutum) dark, rough and pitted, no white median lines. Segment 2 (scutellum) red, with a spine (axilla) at each side edge. Thorax sides bare, tubercle reddish.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) red. Wings dark.
Legs: Reddish. Underside of hind thigh (femur) dark. Legs may be black in northern populations. Spurs black.
Abdomen: Black, short.
Segment 1 has a scaly, very wide light yellow stipe at mid segment; slightly indented or interrupted at center, and most times with a yellow line just below the stripe.
Segment 2 has a narrower yellow stripe on lower edge.
Abdomen tip is squarish on female, rounded on male.
Northern Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and Minnesota, Iowa to the New England states and Florida. Canada: Ontario
Forest edges and meadows.
February to April in Florida, June to September in the North.
Adults eat nectar. Larva are possible cleptoparasites of Plasterer Bee Colletes latitarsis.
The Hosts section on its Discover Life species page lists known associations based on specimen records and images.
Life Cycle
Females lay eggs in ground-nesting cells of Plasterer bees (possibly Colletes latitarsis). Larva hatch and kill the Plasterer bee egg and feed on the provisions of pollen and nectar stored in the cell.
They are uncommon nest parasites of plasterer bees, one host species is likely to be Colletes latitarsus, another uncommon species. It's a nice find since it's a first record for MA.

Holotype as Epeolus bifasciatus male #2658 by Cresson 1864. Locality: Illinois. In collection of the Entomological Society, Philadelphia (Now the Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University). No photos.
Lectotype male by Cresson at National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian. No photos.
Paralectotype female from Cape May, New Jersey July 19, 1935 at Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Penn. Determined by R. L. Brumley in 1965. No photos.
Internet References
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia, 1864, Vol. 3, pg. 38 by Cresson.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1878, Vol. 7, pg. 218 by Cresson.
Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis, 1894-97, Vol. 7, pg. 343 by Robertson.
Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis, 1898, Vol. 8, pg. 52 by Robertson.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1903, Vol. 35, pp. 287-288. Keys male and female by Robertson.
Entomological News, 1903, Vol. 14, by C. Brues. Keys pp. 79 to 80.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, Memoirs, 1916, Vol. 1, pg. 113 by Cresson. Type specimen.
North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin, 1962, No. 152. Bees of the Eastern United States by Mitchell.
Journal Entomological Society Ontario, 2004, Vol. 135 Keys by Romankova.
The Canadian Entomologist, 2006, Vol. 138: Old field study by Grixti & Packer, Table pg. 156.