Euaspis

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Anthidiini
Genus: Euaspis Gerstäcker, 1857
Subgenera: none
Common name: none

Overview

Euaspis are cleptoparasitic bees with a black head and thorax, and red abdomen that lacks yellow maculations. They range in body length from 6–17 mm (Michener 2007).

Diversity

Euaspis contains 12 described species, and there are no subgenera (Baker 1995; Pasteels 1980); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007)

May be confused with

Euaspis can resemble some species of Pachyanthidium, which may also have a black head and thorax and red abdomen, as well as a similar flat and produced scutellum (Michener 2007). Euaspis can be readily distinguished by the presence of juxtantennal carina and a raised median ridge from the frons to the supraclypeal area (Michener 2007).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Host associations

Euaspis parasitizes various species of Lithurgus and Megachile (Iwata 1976).

Nesting behavior

Euaspis nesting behavior is unique when compared to other cleptoparasitic bees, in that the adult removes the existing egg or larvae from their host’s nest instead of the cleptoparasitic larvae killing the host. Euaspis have been known to wait until their host builds its nest, lays its eggs, and closes its nest cells. Euaspis then bores into the closed cell and throws out any of the host’s larvae living in the cell. It is believed Euaspis eat any eggs found in the nest since eggs are not thrown out of the nest. The Euaspis adult then gathers any scattered pollen together in each cell and lays her egg on the pollen mass. She then closes the hole bored in the cell with resin or pollen (Iwata 1976).

Distribution

Euaspis is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, and from Pakistan to eastern and southeastern Asia. Of the 12 species, 2 are from Africa, and 10 are from Asia (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Euaspis abdominalis</em> female face, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis abdominalis female face, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis abdominalis</em> female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis abdominalis female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis abdominalis</em> female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis abdominalis female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis abdominalis</em> male face, juxtantennal carina and impunctate median ridge present, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis abdominalis male face, juxtantennal carina and impunctate median ridge present, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis abdominalis</em> male middle tibia with two apical spines, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis abdominalis male middle tibia with two apical spines, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis</em> sp. female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis sp. female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis abdominalis </em>male abdomen, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis abdominalis male abdomen, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis basalis</em> female sterna without scopa, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis basalis female sterna without scopa, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis erythros</em> male sterna, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis erythros male sterna, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Euaspis abdominalis</em> female T6, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Euaspis abdominalis female T6, photo: C. Ritner