Osmia apicata

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Osmiini
Genus: Osmia Panzer, 1806
Subgenus: O. (Osmia) Panzer, 1806
Species: Osmia apicata Smith, 1853
Common name: none

Overview

Osmia (Osmia) apicata are black bees with a slight metallic blue hue. O. apicata have white or light brown hair on the head and thorax, often with intermixed black hairs, T1T3 are covered with orange-yellow hairs, and T4T6 are predominantly black (Peters 1978). O. apicata have long mouthparts that are nearly as long as the body length when fully extended and reaching beyond their thorax when fully retracted (Gogala and Surina 2011). O. apicata feed upside down to facilitate pollen extraction; this technique allows pollen to fall from Onosma flowers which their bodies would otherwise not be able to extract, owing to the narrow corolla of Onosma (Gogala and Surina 2011). O. apicata females are 12–12.5 mm in length, and males 10.5–12 mm in length (Gogala and Surina 2011).

Diagnostic characteristics 

(modified from Peters 1978)

  • Front tibia with two apical spines. This spine can be more difficult to see in the males than in females.
  • Mouthparts long, nearly as long as the entire body when extended and reaching past the thorax in repose.
  • Strigilis with an apical spine
  • Terga without apical hair bands.
  • Female clypeus simple, without median or lateral projections.

May be confused with 

Osmia apicata is morphologically similar and closely related to O. maxillaris. Both have mouthparts that are as long as their body length when extended (Müller 2012). O. apicata can be differentiated from O. maxillaris by the two apical spines of the front tibia. O. maxillaris also lacks a median hair-filled emargination on S3.

Phenology

Osmia apicata adults have been recorded in flight from April to mid-June (Peters 1978).

Host associations 

Osmia apicata are oligolectic and have been associated with Onosma, a member of the Boraginaceae family (Teppner 1996; Haider et al. 2013).

Nesting behavior 

Osmia apicata nests in preexisting cavities and crevices in stone walls (Ducke 1900; Graeffe 1902). Osmia apicata are known to nest in limestone bedrock and are strongly associated with karst topography (Gogala and Surina 2011).

Distribution

Osmia apicata specimens have been recorded in the eastern Mediterranean in Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Turkey, and Israel (Peters 1978; Ungricht et al. 2008).


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

<p><em>Osmia apicata </em>female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner </p>
Osmia apicata female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner 
<p><em>Osmia apicata </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia apicata female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia apicata </em>female abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia apicata female abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia apicata </em>male face, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia apicata male face, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia apicata </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia apicata male lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia apicata </em>male abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia apicata male abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia apicata</em> male, dorsal view of seventh tergum (T7), photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia apicata male, dorsal view of seventh tergum (T7), photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia apicata</em> male, digaram showing dorsal view of genitalia, diagram modified from Tkalcu 1974</p>
Osmia apicata male, digaram showing dorsal view of genitalia, diagram modified from Tkalcu 1974