Ensliniana

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Dioxyini
Genus: Ensliniana Alfken, 1938
Subgenera: none
Common name: none

Overview

Ensliniana ranges in length from 8–8.5 mm with black integument on the head and thorax and a black or red abdomen (Michener 2007).

Diversity

Ensliniana consists of three species (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

Ensliniana resembles Allodioxys in body form but can be differentiated by the lack of tubercles or spines on the metanotum. Additionally, T6 and S6 of female Ensliniana are nearly hairless, curved downward, and more elongate and slender than those of Allodioxys.

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Host associations

Ensliniana are cleptoparasitic bees, and 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 wider variety of flowers for nectar. Ensliniana are known to parasitize other bees in the family Megachilidae (Michener 2007).

Nesting behavior

Ensliniana are known cleptoparasites of bees in the family Megachilidae (Michener 2007). Host selection boundaries, however, are not well understood. In general, for bees within the Dioxyini tribe, the female Ensliniana 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 it is being provisioned by the host female (Rozen and Favreau 1967), or is injected into the cell after it has been sealed off (Rozen and ​Özbek 2005). After hatching from the egg, the larva is active and has pointed mandibles that are used 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

Ensliniana ranges from Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, and Syria to Turkmenistan (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Ensliniana bidentata </em>female face, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute</p>
Ensliniana bidentata female face, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute
<p><em>Ensliniana bidentata </em>female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute</p>
Ensliniana bidentata female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute
<p><em>Ensliniana bidentata </em>female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute</p>
Ensliniana bidentata female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute
<p><em>Ensliniana bidentata </em>male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute</p>
Ensliniana bidentata male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute
<p><em>Ensliniana bidentata</em> female terga, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute</p>
Ensliniana bidentata female terga, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute