Epeolus odyneroides, Onuferko, 2019

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 : 46-49

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scientific name

Epeolus odyneroides

sp. nov.

Epeolus odyneroides sp. nov.


Figs 3D View Fig , 5D View Fig , 7J View Fig , 18 View Fig , 27 View Fig B

Proposed common name

Potter-wasp epeolus.


The following morphological features in combination can be used to tell E. odyneroides sp. nov. apart from all other Epeolus : the axillae are small to intermediate in size, not extending beyond the midlength of the mesoscutellum and the free portion of each axilla is less than ⅓ as long as its entire medial length, and like the mesoscutellum black ( Fig. 18D View Fig ); the mesoscutellum does not have a distinct ridge delineating its dorsal and posterior portions ( Fig. 3D View Fig ); T1 does not have any fasciae ( Fig. 18 View Fig B–C); and T2–T4 have complete, bright to pale yellow apical fasciae ( Fig. 18 View Fig A–C). Epeolus odyneroides sp. nov. most closely resembles E. luteipennis in terms of pubescence and structure. Whereas in E. luteipennis each mesopleuron is densely punctate throughout (most i<1d) and T1 has a complete or medially interrupted off-white to pale yellow basal fascia, in E. odyneroides sp. nov. each mesopleuron has sparser punctures ventrolaterally (many i>1d) than in the upper half ( Fig. 5D View Fig ) and T1 lacks fasciae altogether. Additionally, in E. odyneroides sp. nov. the frontal keel has a small tooth-like process, which is absent in E. luteipennis , and the mesoscutum and mesopleura have long, erect simple setae among the shorter branched hairs; only the latter type is present in E. luteipennis . This species is also very similar in overall appearance to Triepeolus bilineatus , Tri. cameroni and Tri. mexicanus , but both sexes of E. odyneroides sp. nov. 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).


The specific epithet is derived from ‘ Odynerus ’, a genus of potter wasps ( Hymenoptera : Vespidae : Eumeninae). This name has become the root in the names of many genera, including Pachodynerus de Saussure, 1875 ( Hymenoptera : Vespidae : Eumeninae), which is similar in overall appearance to this particular species of Epeolus . The Greek suffix – oides means ʻresemblingʼ.

Material examined

Primary type material

MEXICO • ♀, holotype; Tlaxcala, Volcán La Malinche (N side); 19.2900° N, 98.0453° W; 10 Sep. 1996; R. Brooks leg.; KUNHM SM0253729 GoogleMaps .

Secondary type material

MEXICO • 1 ♀, paratype; Estado De México, 6 km E of Tenancingo ; 30 Oct. 1991; Rodriguez leg.; KUNHM SEMC1248301 1 ♂, allotype; Tlaxcala, Volcán La Malinche ; 19.2900° N, 98.0453° W; 10 Sep. 1996; R. Brooks leg.; BOLD sample ID: CCDB-28237 E04; KUNHM SM0255860 GoogleMaps 1 ♀, paratype; same collection data as for preceding; KUNHM SM0253730 GoogleMaps .

DNA barcoded material with BIN-compliant sequences

Available. BOLD:ACZ2542. See Type material for specimens examined and sequenced (indicated by unique CCDB-plate and well number).



MEASUREMENTS. Length 8.8 mm; head length 2.3 mm; head width 3.1 mm; fore wing length 8.3 mm.

INTEGUMENT COLORATION. Almost entirely dark brown to black; notable exceptions as follows: at least partially ferruginous on mandible, antenna and T5. Mandible with apex and preapical tooth lighter than rest of mandible (preapical tooth difficult to see in holotype because mandibles closed; described from paratype). Tegula pale ferruginous to amber along lateral and posterior margins. Wing membrane subhyaline, apically dusky on anterior margin.

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 faint anteromedial, V-shaped patch of bright yellow tomentum, short, appressed, bright yellow setae also present along posterior margin; mesoscutum otherwise covered in sparse and erect, simple pale hairs. Mesopleuron sparsely hairy, but tomentum moderately dense ventrally as well as between two sparsely hairy patches (one beneath base of fore wing (hypoepimeral area), a larger circular patch occupying much of ventrolateral half of mesopleuron). Mesopleuron with long, erect simple setae among shorter branched hairs. Metanotum with tomentum uninterrupted, pale yellow laterally and black medially. T1 without fasciae, basally and laterally with sparse off-white tomentum. T2–T4 each with complete bright yellow apical fascia, T2 fascia without anterolateral extensions. T5 with large patch of bright yellow tomentum bordering and separate from pseudopygidial area. 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. S5 with apical fimbria of coppery to silvery hairs not extending beyond apex of sternum by more than ¼ MOD.

SURFACE SCULPTURE. Punctures dense. Labrum with larger and sparser punctures (most i>1d) than clypeus (i<1d). Small impunctate shiny spot lateral to lateral ocellus. Mesoscutum, mesoscutellum and axilla coarsely and densely rugose-punctate. Tegula densely punctate mesally (i=1–2d), sparsely punctate (i>2d) to impunctate along margins. Mesopleuron with denser (i≤1d) punctures in upper half than ventrolateral half; ventrolateral half with most interspaces large (i>1d), interspaces shining; mesopleuron with punctures similar in size throughout. Metasomal terga with punctures very fine, dense (i≈1d), evenly distributed on disc.

STRUCTURE. Preapical tooth acute. Labrum with pair of small subapical denticles not preceded by carinae. Frontal keel not strongly raised, but small tooth present. Vertexal area weakly convex in frontal view. Scape with greatest length 1.8 × greatest width. F2 as long as wide (L/W ratio = 1.2). Preoccipital ridge separated from hypostomal carina by about 1.5 MOD. Pronotal collar rather short (medial length ~⅔ 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 = 0.3) and tip not extending beyond midlength of mesoscutellum; axilla with tip broadly rounded, unattached to mesoscutellum for less than ⅓ medial length of axilla; axilla with lateral margin relatively straight and without carina. Fore wing with three submarginal cells. Pygidial plate mostly hidden in holotype, but apically truncate in paratype.


Description as for female except for usual secondary sexual characters and as follows: F2 shorter, not noticeably longer than wide (L/W ratio = 1.1); pygidial plate apically rounded; S4 and S5 with much longer (>1 MOD), curved, coppery to silvery subapical hairs.


Presently only known from two locations in Central Mexico ( Fig. 7J View Fig ).


Host records


Floral records

Labels of examined voucher specimens indicate floral associations with Heterotheca inuloides Cass. ( Asteraceae ), Salvia L. ( Lamiaceae ), and Simsia lagasceiformis DC. ( Asteraceae ).


In addition to the diagnostic morphological features that separate E. odyneroides sp. nov. from other similar species, its status as a separate species is supported by a separate BIN and large barcode sequence divergence (5.1%) from its nearest neighbor, E. canadensis , which is a visibly different bee (see Figs 18 View Fig , 22D View Fig ). Epeolus odyneroides sp. nov. most closely resembles E. luteipennis , for which only a partial sequence 421 bp in length is available. However, the distance between the two sequences (only one is presently available per species) is larger (6.3%, Supplementary File 3).

As well as resembling certain eumenines, E. odyneroides sp. nov. very closely resembles honey wasps in the genus Brachygastra Perty, 1833 ( Hymenoptera : Vespidae : Polistinae ).