Neofidelia

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Fideliinae
Tribe: Neofideliini
Genus: Neofidelia Moure and Michener, 1955
Subgenera: none
Common name: none

Overview

Neofidelia are robust, medium-sized bees that range in body length from 9–12 mm (Michener 2007). They are black with dense and long light-colored hairs covering their body (Michener 2007). The basitarsi and tibia bear long setae that can resemble scopa; however, the setae are not used for pollen gathering and instead assist in throwing loosened substrates out the burrow during construction (Rozen 1973; Michener 2007). Pollen is carried with the scopa on the ventral surface of the metasoma as in most Megachilidae.

Diversity

Neofidelia contains 5 described species worldwide (Dumesh and Packer 2013; Michener 2007); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007 unless otherwise stated)

May be confused with

Neofidelia may be confused with Fidelia due to similar female pygidial plates, but can be distinguished by the hind basitarsus and distance between the clypeus and antennal bases mentioned in the diagnostic characteristics (Michener 2007).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Host associations

N. longirostis appears to be broadly specialized and has been detected on Solanaceae, Portulacaceae, Cactaceae, and Asteraceae (Engel 2002). N. profuga has also been found on Caryophyllales (Engel 2004).

Nesting behavior

Neofidelia females excavate branched, shallow burrows in the soil (Rozen 1973). The nest branches terminate in unlined cells that are widened and dug horizontally (Rozen 1973). Pollen provisions are moistened and packed into the end of each cell. The female uses her modified pygidium to sculpt the provisional mass into a dish-like shape and oviposits an egg into the convex mass (Rozen 1973).

Distribution

Neofidelia occurs from Chile to southern Peru (Dumesh and Packer 2013; Michener 2007).

​Distribution map generated by Discover Life -- click on map for details, credits, and terms of use.

<p><em>Neofidelia profuga</em> male face, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Neofidelia profuga male face, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Neofidelia profuga</em> male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Neofidelia profuga male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Neofidelia profuga</em> male abdomen, photo: T. Brady</p>
Neofidelia profuga male abdomen, photo: T. Brady
<p><em>Neofidelia profuga</em> female forewing hairless and with three submarginal cells, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Neofidelia profuga female forewing hairless and with three submarginal cells, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Neofidelia profuga</em> male hind basitarsus forming two curved talons, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Neofidelia profuga male hind basitarsus forming two curved talons, photo: C. Ritner