Trachusa maxima (Friese, 1931)

Kasparek, Max, 2018, Taxonomic revision proves Trachusapubescens (Morawitz, 1872) sensu lato to be a complex of allopatric and sympatric species in South-Eastern Europe and Western Asia (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Anth, ZooKeys 764, pp. 111-144: 111

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Trachusa maxima (Friese, 1931)

stat. n.

Trachusa maxima (Friese, 1931)  stat. n. Figs 11, 12, 14, 15

Anthidium pubescens var. maximum  Friese, 1931: 37-38.


Warncke (1980) believed that Anthidium pubescens var. maximum  Friese, 1931 was synonymous with the nominate Anthidium pubescens  with some more yellow colouration and longer lateral projections of T6.


Holotype: Male. TURKEY: "Asia Minor Taurus pisid., 1928 / Type / Anthidium pubescens v. maximum Friese det. 1925 / Lectotype Anthidium maximum  Männchen Friese 1931 (nec 1922) det. v. d. Zanden 1994" [see remark on collection locality below].

Other material: ARMENIA: 6♂, Khosrov State Reserve, 10.06.2017, M. Kasparek leg. (at Phlomis  ) (cMK). IRAN: 1♂, prov. Esfahan (50 km SW of Daran, pass betw. Aragol and Cohrud vill., 2800 m) 32.49.47N, 50.14.89E, 11.07.2001, M. Kalabza leg. (cMS). TURKEY: 1♂, Pisidian Taurus ("Pisidischer Taurus"), July 1928 ("Archianthidium pubescens maximus Fr. det. Mavromoustakis / lectoparatype Anthidium maximum  Friese 1931 (nec 1921) det. v. d. Zanden 1994 / Trachusa maximum  (Friese) det. v. d. Zanden 1994") (cMAV); 2♂, Adıyaman, Kuyucak env., 10.06.2001, M. Snizek leg. (cMS); 1♂, Maraş-Afsin, 30.06.1984, K. Warncke leg. (OLL); 1♂, Sille near Konya, 9.-17.6.1975, J. Heinrich leg., J. Heinrich det. 1977 (SMF); 1♂, Ankara, 09.06.1934, H. Noack leg. ("Anthidium laticeps Alfken det. 1934 / Archianthidium maximum  Friese J. Pasteels det. 1969") (SMF).

Differential diagnosis.

The largest species of the Trachusa pubescens  complex (17-20 mm versus 13-18 mm). It is clearly characterised by large mandibles, larger than in any other species in the complex. The median projection of T6 is widely rounded convexly, without apical emargination, and projects beyond the lateral projections (not projecting in T. hakkariensis  sp. n. with which it may occur in the same region). T7 is parallel-sided or slightly broadened at apex and with a truncated apex (tapered with truncated apex in T. hakkariensis  sp. n.).

The relative width of the mandible in relation to the clypeus length (index clypeus length / mandible width) is significantly higher in T. maxima  (mean: 0.92 ± 0.059 mm) than in the other species of the complex. It overlaps to some degree with T. balcanica  sp. n. (mean: 1.03 ± 0.052 mm), which is, however, the smallest species of the group (and T. maxima  the largest), so that the combination of both characters allows an unambiguous species distinction. The clypeus of T. maxima  is emarginate, and the apical margin crenulated with 8-11 rounded tubercles, and it shares this character with T. balcanica  sp. n., T. hakkariensis  sp. n., and T. verhoeffi  . The emargination is usually shallower in the latter two species.

The genal area has a large yellow maculation which is broad at the upper end and narrow at the lower end and extends from the top of the eye to its lower end.

The median projection of T6 reaches beyond the lateral projections (Figs 7, 15) (in T. hakkariensis  sp. n. this projection extends at most to the level of the lateral projections, and in T. pubescens  the median projection has at its apex a small emargination or is at least truncated). The surface of T6 is shining, with fine punctures widely scattered especially in the centre of both sides; the punctures are often separated by a few puncture diameter. Trachusa balcanica  sp. n. and T. hakkariensis  sp. n. are similar with an on average only slightly denser punctation, while the punctation in T. pubescens  and T. verhoeffi  is noticeably coarser and denser. The punctures in these two species are usually subcontiguous.


Seven males examined from Turkey (including the type specimen) have a relatively narrow transverse yellow band on the vertex, broken in the middle and clearly separated from the yellow maculation on the genal area. In just one of these specimens, the yellow band is merged with the yellow maculation on the genal area. One specimen (from Konya in Turkey) has two small yellow spots between the lateral yellow bands on T2, a character which is often also present in T. pubescens  (see Fig. 11D). The mesepisternum is black in all specimens. The Armenian population is distinguished from the Turkish population by the unified yellow colouration on gena and vertex. Three of the six males examined have a yellow mesepisternal spot, while it is black in the others. Only one specimen is available from the central Iranian population, and this is the largest specimen of all the T. pubescens  s. l. examined. Already in the initial PCA, this specimen proved to be different from all other individuals of the complex (Fig. 2, see above). It has a large yellow spot on mesepisternum and the vertex has scattered, short hairs (longer and denser in the other populations). While the PCA places the specimens of these three populations (Armenia, Iran, Turkey) in different clusters (Fig. 5), this difference does not become evident in the Discriminant Analysis (DA) (Fig. 6).


The distribution of T. maxima  extends in the west from the northern slopes of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey to Ankara in Inner Anatolia in the north. It was also found in the Turkish south-eastern provinces of Kahraman Maraş and Adıyaman. Separated, possibly isolated populations are present in Armenia and central Iran (Isfahan). While some morphometric and colouration differences exist between the Turkish, Armenian and Iranian populations, the material is not comprehensive enough to justify the assignment to different taxa, for example to subspecies.

Flower preference.

In Armenia, the species was found visiting the large yellow flowers of Phlomis  sp. (M.K.).


The type locality is the Pisidian Taurus, where it was collected in 1928 (ZMB). Another male and a female were collected there at the same time (cMAV, ZMB). According to Friese (1931) the collector was the speleologist P. Weirather (not noted on specimen labels), and his collection activities and travel itineraries (Pretner 2011) point to the year 1929. The exact type locality could not be identified but it is likely that it is situated in the area around Isparta.