Serapista

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Anthidiini
Genus: Serapista Cockerell, 1904
Subgenera: none
Common name: none

Overview

Serapista are large, robust bees with body lengths ranging from 9–15 mm (Michener 2007). They are black with abundant thick white hairs on their head, thorax, and forming incomplete bands on their abdomen (Michener 2007; Eardley and Griswold 2016). Both males and females have distinct spines along the lateral edges of their terga that can give their abdomen a serrated appearance (Michener 2007).

Diversity

Serapista contains 6 species (Eardley and Griswold 2016); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Eardley and Grisdwold 2016 unless otherwise stated)

May be confused with

The incomplete, white, squamose hair bands and lateral spines along the terga make this bee difficult to confuse with other Anthidiini (Michener 2007; Eardley and Griswold 2016).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Host associations

Plant materials have been collected from Asteraceae and species of Lebeckia, Hermannia, Crotalaria, and Indigofera (Eardley and Griswold 2016).

Nesting behavior

Known nesting habits of Serapista are diverse. Nests have been built on Fabaceae (Eardley and Griswold 2016). Serapista denticulata makes nests out of plant down sometimes from Asteraceae, that may be mixed with animal hairs or feathers (Michener 1968; Gess and Gess 2007). Serapista friesei has been observed building exposed nests with plant down and mammal fur on shrubs (Gess and Gess 2007; Eardley and Griswold 2016). Both species have been known to make exposed aerial nests on the stems of plants (Eardley and Griswold 2016). In addition to making aerial nests, S. rufipes has also been found building nests from plant fibers in preexisting burrows in the ground (Gess and Gess 2007; Eardley and Griswold 2016).

Distribution

Serapista are known only from sub-Saharan Africa, where they occur from Cameroon to Tanzania to South Africa (Michener 2007; Eardley and Griswold 2016).

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

<p><em>Serapista serrata </em>female lateral face, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Serapista serrata female lateral face, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Serapista serrata </em>female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Serapista serrata female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Serapista rufipes </em>female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Serapista rufipes female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Serapista intermedia</em> male face, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Serapista intermedia male face, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Serapista intermedia </em>male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Serapista intermedia male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Serapista pernigra</em> female axilla, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Serapista pernigra female axilla, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Serapista intermedia</em> male abdomen, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Serapista intermedia male abdomen, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Serapista pernigra </em>female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Serapista pernigra female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner