Epeolus luteipennis Friese, 1916

Onuferko, Thomas M., 2019, A review of the cleptoparasitic bee genus Epeolus Latreille, 1802 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, European Journal of Taxonomy 563, pp. 1-69 : 31-35

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Epeolus luteipennis Friese, 1916


Epeolus luteipennis Friese, 1916

Figs 1F View Fig , 5C View Fig , 7C View Fig , 14 View Fig , 27 View Fig A

Epeolus luteipennis Friese, 1916: 335 (♀, ♂), new lectotype designation.

Epeolus xanthurus Cockerell, 1917: 298 (♂), syn. nov.

Epeolus rugosus Cockerell, 1949: 459 (♀), syn. nov.

Proposed common name

Yellow-winged epeolus.


The following morphological features in combination can be used to tell E. luteipennis apart from all other Epeolus : the axillae are small to intermediate in size, not extending much beyond the midlength of the mesoscutellum (extending to <⅔ its length) but the free portion of each axilla is more than ¼ as long as its entire medial length, and the axillae (except sometimes their tips) and mesoscutellum are black ( Fig. 14D View Fig ); the mesoscutellum does not have a distinct ridge delineating its dorsal and posterior portions; T1 has only a complete or medially interrupted off-white to pale yellow basal fascia ( Fig. 14 View Fig A–B); and T2–T4 have complete bright to pale yellow apical fasciae ( Fig. 14 View Fig A–C). Epeolus luteipennis most closely resembles E. odyneroides sp. nov. and E. splendidus in terms of integument coloration, pubescence and structure. However, in E. odyneroides sp. nov. T1 lacks fasciae altogether, whereas in E. splendidus T1 has a complete bright yellow apical fascia as well as a complete white basal fascia, with little space in between. Also, in E. odyneroides sp. nov. each mesopleuron has sparser punctures ventrolaterally (many i>1d) than in the upper half, whereas in E. luteipennis each mesopleuron is densely punctate throughout (most i<1d) ( Fig. 5C View Fig ). This species is also very similar in overall appearance to Triepeolus bilineatus Cockerell, 1949 , Tri. cameroni (Meade-Waldo, 1913) and Tri. mexicanus (Cresson, 1878) , but both sexes of E. luteipennis can easily be told apart from any similar-looking Triepeolus by the presence of a preapical tooth on each mandible; in all Triepeolus spp., the mandibles are simple ( Rightmyer 2004).

Material examined

Primary type material

COSTA RICA • ♂, E. luteipennis lectotype; San José, San José; 1903; Schmidt leg.; ZMB .

ECUADOR • ♂, E. xanthurus holotype; “Collection CF Baker”; USNM 534608 View Materials .

HONDURAS • ♀, E. rugosus holotype; Francisco Morazán, Zamorano; 14 Jul. ????; Vidales leg.; USNM 534050 View Materials .

Secondary type material

COSTA RICA • 1 ♂, E. luteipennis paralectotype; Alajuela, San Mateo ; AMNH 25582 View Materials .

DNA barcoded material with BIN-compliant sequences


Non-barcoded material

COSTA RICA • 1 ♀; Cartago, Turrialba ; 9 Jun. 1948; F. Schrader leg.; KUNHM SEMC 1248314 1 ♀; same collection data as for preceding; 21 Jun. 1948; F. Schrader leg.; KUNHM SEMC1248315 1 ♂; San José, Pérez Zeledón (San Isidro vicinity); 1 Feb.–12 Apr. 2001; T.H. Ricketts leg.; KUNHM SEMC1248325 .

MEXICO • 1 ♀; ANSP 1 ♀; Chiapas, Comitán ; 20 Jul. 1969; L.A. Kelton leg.; CNC 754065 View Materials 1 ♂; Chiapas, Ei. La Palma ( Mapastepec ); 15.5665° N, 92.8165° W; 27 Oct. 2006; C. Balboa, J. Mérida, M. Guzmán, M. Cigarroa and J. Toto leg.; ECOSUR ECO-TAE-49935 GoogleMaps 1 ♀; Chiapas, Ei. Las Golondrinas ( Acacoyagua ); 15.2562° N, 92.3880° W; 29 Nov. 2004; M. Guzmán, M. Rincón, J. Esponda, C. Balboa and J. Mérida leg.; ECOSUR ECO-TA-E-41388 GoogleMaps 2 ♂♂; same collection data as for preceding; 24 Oct. 2006; C. Balboa, J. Mérida, M. Guzmán, M. Cigarroa and J. Toto leg.; ECOSUR ECO-TAE-49452, ECO-TAE-49453 GoogleMaps 1 ♂; Chiapas, Teopisca ; 31 Jul. 1969; L.A. Kelton leg.; CNC 754066 View Materials 2 ♀♀; Jalisco, Guadalajara ; “8.10.??”; McClendon leg.; ANSP 1 ♂; Michoacán, Morelia ; 25 Jun. 1957; J.A. Chemsak and B.J. Rannells leg.; EMEC 1135854 View Materials 2 ♀♀; Morelos, 2 mi SW of Yautepec ; 2 Jul. 1961; C.D. Michener leg.; KUNHM SEMC1247913 , SEMC1247914 1 ♂; Veracruz, 10 km N of Coscomatepec ; 9 Jul. 1974; J.A. Chemsak, E. and J. Linsley, and J. Powell leg.; EMEC 1135855 View Materials 3 ♂♂; Veracruz, 7.1 km E of Huatusco ; 16 Jul. 1990; R.L. Minckley leg.; KUNHM SM0735386 , SM0735387 , SM0735388 1 ♂; Veracruz, S of Ixhuatlán (SE Huatusco ); 17–18 Jul. 1990; I. Yarom leg.; BOLD sample ID: CCDB-28315 D04; KUNHM SEMC1248289 .

PANAMA • 1 ♀; Panama Canal Zone Summit ; Jan. 1947; N.L.H. Kraus leg.; EMEC 1135853 View Materials 1 ♂; Chiriquí, 8 km S of Boquete ; 8.6986° N, 82.4505° W; 5–13 Jan. 2012; F.D. Parker and T.D. McIntyre leg.; BBSL FDP118503 View Materials GoogleMaps .

VENEZUELA • 1 ♀; Mérida, Valle de Culata ; 23 Jul. 1988; C. Porter and L. Stange leg.; FSCA .



MEASUREMENTS. Length 6.3 mm; head length 1.7 mm; head width 2.2 mm; fore wing length 5.5 mm.

INTEGUMENT COLORATION. Mostly black; notable exceptions as follows: partially to entirely ferruginous on mandible, antenna, pronotal lobe, tegula, legs, metasomal terga (including pygidial plate) and metasomal sterna. Mandible with apex and preapical tooth darker than all but basal quarter (preapical tooth difficult to see in E. luteipennis lectotype because mandibles closed; described from non-type specimens). Antenna brown except F1 extensively orange. Pronotal lobe and tegula pale ferruginous to amber. Wing membrane subhyaline, apically dusky on anterior margin. Legs with brown or black more extensive than reddish orange.

PUBESCENCE. Face with tomentum densest on clypeus and around antennal socket, sparser on upper paraocular area and vertexal area. Dorsum of mesosoma and metasoma with bands of off-white and bright yellow short, appressed setae. Pronotal collar with tomentum uniformly bright yellow. Mesoscutum with large anteromedial patch of bright yellow tomentum. Mesopleuron with upper half densely hairy, except beneath base of fore wing (hypoepimeral area); ventrolateral half sparsely hairy. Metanotum with tomentum uninterrupted, pale yellow laterally and black medially. T1 with broad, medially narrowed pale yellow basal fascia (medially interrupted in multiple non-type specimens). T2–T4 each with complete bright yellow apical fascia, T2 fascia without anterolateral extensions. S4 and S5 with long (>1 MOD), curved, coppery to silvery subapical hairs, which are often darker apically.

SURFACE SCULPTURE. Punctures dense. Labrum with larger and sparser punctures (i=1–2d) than clypeus (i<1d). Small impunctate shiny spot lateral to lateral ocellus. Mesoscutum, mesoscutellum and axilla coarsely and densely rugose-punctate. Tegula very densely punctate mesally (i<1d), less so laterally (i=1–2d). Mesopleuron with ventrolateral half coarsely and densely punctate (most i<1d) to rugose; mesopleuron with punctures similar in size and more or less equally dense throughout. Metasomal terga with punctures very fine, dense (i≈1d), evenly distributed on disc. Pygidial plate with large, deep punctures more or less evenly spaced throughout, with interspaces shining.

STRUCTURE. Preapical tooth acute. Labrum with pair of small subapical denticles not preceded by carinae. Frontal keel not strongly raised. Vertexal area weakly convex in frontal view. Scape with greatest length 1.8 × greatest width. F2 as long as wide (L/W ratio = 1.0). Preoccipital ridge separated from hypostomal carina by about 1.5 MOD. Pronotal collar short (medial length ~½ MOD) and convex along anterior margin. Mesoscutellum moderately bigibbous. Axilla small to intermediate in size, its lateral margin less than half as long as mesoscutellar width (AL/MSCW ratio = 0.4) and tip not extending beyond midlength of mesoscutellum; axilla with tip distinctly pointed, but unattached to mesoscutellum for less than 2 ∕5 medial length of axilla; axilla with lateral margin relatively straight and without carina. Fore wing with three submarginal cells. Pygidial plate apically rounded.


Description as for male except for usual secondary sexual characters and as follows: F2 slightly but not noticeably longer than wide (L/W ratio = 1.1); T5 with large, continuous patch of bright yellow tomentum bordering and separate from pseudopygidial area present only in female; T5 with pseudopygidial area lunate, its apex more than twice as wide as medial length, indicated by silvery setae on impressed disc of apicomedial region elevated from rest of tergum; pygidial plate apically truncate, with smaller, denser punctures; S4 and S5 with straight and much shorter hairs (S5 with apical fimbria of coppery to silvery hairs extending beyond apex of sternum by ~⅓ MOD).


Central America, Mexico and northwestern South America ( Fig. 7C View Fig ). This is the only species of Epeolus outside of the ‘ Trophocleptria group’ that has been recorded from South America.


Host records


Floral records



Friese (1916) described E. luteipennis from both sexes but provided a more complete description of the male. For this reason, and since only male syntypes were examined in the present study, a male is herein designated as the lectotype, and is the specimen upon which the redescription of the male of this species is based. Below what is presumed to be Heinrich Friese’s original type label for this specimen, which simply says “Type”, is a label that says “ LECTOTYPE ” and “desig. Melo, 2016”. Since Melo’s (2016) lectotype designations of Friese’s Neotropical Epeolus types cannot be traced to any publication, the designation for E. luteipennis is made herein instead. Ferrari (2017) cites personal communication with G. Melo regarding the addition of the latter’s lectotype label to another of Friese’s syntype specimens (in this case Colletes nigritulus Friese, 1910 ), with 2015 given as the year of the designation, indicating that the designation (at that time) remained to be published.

Moure et al. (2007) list E. xanthurus as a possible synonym of Triepeolus buchwaldi ( Friese, 1908) , an outwardly very different species. I have examined the holotype of E. xanthurus , a male, which except for its larger size (length 7.9 mm) agrees with the present redescription based on the lectotype of E. luteipennis . Moure et al. (2007) also list E. rugosus as the original name under which Triepeolus rugosus ( Cockerell, 1949) was published, but the name Tri. rugosus refers to a different species from Eastern North America, described by Mitchell (1962). The holotype of E. rugosus , a female, exhibits the following features typical of its genus, Epeolus : the pseudopygidial area is lunate, its apex is more than twice as wide as its medial length and covered in short, silvery hairs, and the apices of the processes of S6 are convergent, spatulate and bear setae modified into pointed denticles. The holotype of E. rugosus too is larger (length 8.3 mm) than the lectotype of E. luteipennis , but otherwise there are very few morphological differences among the three primary type specimens, which are understood herein to be conspecific.

Although BIN-compliant sequences are presently not available for E. luteipennis , a partial sequence 421 bp in length is available for a male specimen from the Mexican state of Veracruz, which does not cluster closely with any sequences from other Epeolus species in a NJ tree of sequences>200 bp in length (minimum distance = 4.2%, Supplementary File 3).


Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


American Museum of Natural History


Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Mexico)


Essig Museum of Entomology


USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Pollinating Insects-- Biology, Management and Systematics Research


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology














Epeolus luteipennis Friese, 1916

Onuferko, Thomas M. 2019

Epeolus rugosus

Cockerell T. D. A. 1949: 459

Epeolus xanthurus

Cockerell T. D. A. 1917: 298

Epeolus luteipennis

Friese H. 1916: 335