Xenostelis

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Anthidiini
Genus: Xenostelis Baker, 1999
Subgenera: none
Common name: none

Overview

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).

Diversity

Xenostelis consists of one species, X. polychroma (Michener 2007); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Baker 1999 unless otherwise stated)

May be confused with

Xenostelis resembles Afrostelis due to large tegulae, but can be differentiated by a less elongate thorax and presence of yellow markings.

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Host associations

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

Nesting behavior is unknown.

Distribution

Xenostelis occurs on the island of Socotra, Yemen (Michener 2007).

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

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