Genus: Xenostelis Baker, 1999
Common name: none
Xenostelis are small (5–6 mm) black bees with reddish-orange legs, yellow maculations on the sides of T1 and T2, and orange-yellow across T5 and T6 (Baker 1999; Michener 2007). The genus is based on one female specimen (Michener 2007).
Xenostelis consists of one species, X. polychroma (Michener 2007); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.
(modified from Baker 1999 unless otherwise stated)
May be confused withXenostelis
due to large tegulae
, but can be differentiated by a less elongate thorax and presence of yellow markings.
There are no known invasives.
Xenostelis are presumed cleptoparasitic bees due to the lack of scopal hairs in the females. They likely do not gather pollen from flowers since the larvae of cleptoparasitic bees develop parasitically on their host’s pollen provisions (Michener 2007). They will, however, visit a wide variety of flowers for nectar.
Nesting behavior is unknown.
Xenostelis occurs on the island of Socotra, Yemen (Michener 2007).
Xenostelis polychroma female face, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute
Xenostelis polychroma female lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute
Xenostelis polychroma female abdomen, photo: C. Ritner © Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute