Aglaoapis

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Dioxyini
Genus: Aglaoapis Cameron, 1901
Subgenera: none
Common name: none

Overview

Aglaoapis are large bees that range in body length from 10–12 mm with red or black integument on their abdomens (Griswold and Parker 2003; Michener 2007).

Diversity

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

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007)

May be confused with

Aglaoapis have similar external features to other genera in the Dioxyini tribe; however, Aglaoapis can be differentiated by their spined axilla, strong median spine on the metanotum, transverse carina at the base of the labrum, and the tubercle on the anterior surface of the front coxa (Michener 2007).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Host associations

Aglaoapis are cleptoparasitic of other bees in the family Megachilidae (Griswold and Parker 2003; Michener 2007). Females do not gather pollen from flowers since the larvae develop parasitically on their host’s pollen provisions (Michener 2007). They will, however, visit a wide variety of flowers for nectar.

Nesting behavior

Aglaoapis are known cleptoparasites (Michener 2007). Host selection boundaries, however, are not well understood. In general for bees within the Dioxyini tribe, the female parasite often spends time around the preferred floral resources of its host to locate them. Once a host nest is found, an egg is laid inside a cell as the host female is provisioning the nest (Rozen and Favreau 1967), or it is injected into the cell after it has been sealed off (Rozen and ​Özbek 2005). After hatching from the egg, the active larva uses its pointed mandibles to destroy the host egg or larva (Rozen and Özbek 2004). The larva retains the somewhat modified “hospicidal” body form for multiple instars before molting into a more ordinary grub-like form where it feeds on the pollen stores of its host (Rozen and Özbek 2004).

Distribution

Aglaoapis occurs in Europe, western Asia, western India, and South Africa (Michener 2007).

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

<p>Fig 1, <em>Aglaoapis tridentata</em> male face, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Fig 1, Aglaoapis tridentata male face, photo: C. Ritner
<p>Fig 2, <em>Aglaoapis tridentata</em> male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Fig 2, Aglaoapis tridentata male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner
<p>Fig 3, <em>Aglaoapis tridentata</em> male abdomen, photo: T. Brady</p>
Fig 3, Aglaoapis tridentata male abdomen, photo: T. Brady
<p>Fig 4, <em>Aglaoapis tridentata</em> female scutum and metanotum, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Fig 4, Aglaoapis tridentata female scutum and metanotum, photo: C. Ritner