Pararhophites

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Fideliinae
Tribe: Pararhophitini
Genus: Pararhophites Friese, 1898
Subgenera: none
Common name: none

Overview

Pararhophites range in body length from 5–7 mm (Michener 2007). They are sexually dimorphic, with females being primarily yellow, while males are black or brown with yellow patterning on the legs and abdomen (Michener 2007). Pararhophites are the only nonparasitic Megachilidae genus without sternal scopa (Michener 2007).

Diversity

Pararhophites contains 3 species worldwide; none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007)

May be confused with

Pararhophites is unique within Megachilidae, especially the females, due to the scopa on their hind tibia, so it is unlikely to be confused with any other genera within the family.

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Host associations

Pararhophites are believed to be generalists on Zygophyllaceae. Pararhophites quadratus has been found to utilize Zygophyllum (Michener 2007). Peganum harmala may also be an important host plant for Pararhophites (McGinley and Rozen 1987).

Nesting behavior

Only the solitary nesting habits of P. orobinus are known. They have been observed nesting in small aggregations, where they excavate irregularly shaped nests belowground with an entrance burrow leading to multiple branches (McGinley and Rozen 1987). Cells are formed from pollen and sand grains moistened with nectar (McGinley and Rozen 1987). A mix of wet and dry pollen is provisioned into a receptacle in the rear of the cell (McGinley and Rozen 1987). The species goes through diapause within their cocoons (McGinley and Rozen 1987). Post defecating, inactive larvae can remain in diapause for more than 5 years (Rozen 1990).

Distribution

Pararhophites can be found in Morocco west to Egypt and from Kazakhstan south to Pakistan and northwestern India (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Pararhophites orobinus</em> female face, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Pararhophites orobinus female face, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Pararhophites orobinus </em>female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Pararhophites orobinus female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Pararhophites orobinus </em>female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Pararhophites orobinus female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Parahophites orobinus</em> male T1 not concave dorsally, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Parahophites orobinus male T1 not concave dorsally, photo: C. Ritner