Lasioglossum (Hemihalictus) villosulum (Kirby, 1802),

Wood, Thomas James, Cross, Ian & Baldock, David W., 2020, Updates to the bee fauna of Portugal with the description of three new Iberian Andrena species (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila), Zootaxa 4790 (2), pp. 201-228: 223

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Lasioglossum (Hemihalictus) villosulum (Kirby, 1802)


Lasioglossum (Hemihalictus) villosulum (Kirby, 1802) 

Pauly et al. (2019) separated L. villosulum  from Lasioglossum medinai (Vachal, 1895)  on the basis of genetic and morphological differences. Lasioglossum medinai  has a sub-Mediterranean distribution and is found in Spain close to the Portuguese border. Re-examination of Portuguese material available to us did not detect the presence of L. medinai  in Portugal, with all specimens conforming to L. villosulum sensu Patiny et al. (2019)  .

Pollen use in the L. villosulum  group is unclear as a result of previous taxonomic problems, with L. villosulum  being previously reported both as polylectic ( Westrich 1989; Rust et al. 2003) and oligolectic on Asteraceae ( Wood et al. 2016)  . The first two of these studies were conducted in southern Germany and France where the ranges of L. villosulum  and L. medinai  overlap, whereas the latter study was conducted in Britain from which L. medinai  appears to be absent (Pauly et al. 2019).

All analysed pollen loads of L. villosulum  from Portugal (n=11) contained pure Asteraceae  ( Cichorieae  ) pollen. These would seem to be in line with the preference of this species across the western part of the West Palearctic (n=46 analysed pollen loads; Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain [Canary Islands], United Kingdom; 99.3% Asteraceae  ( Cichorieae  ), Wood et al. 2016; TJW unpublished data). True Lasioglossum villosulum  therefore appears to be a specialist on Asteraceae  ( Cichoriaceae  ), with previous records indicating polylecty probably referring to L. medinai  . Lasioglossum medinai  is likely to occur in Portugal, but for now this remains to be confirmed.