Epeolus erigeronis Mitchell, 1962

Onuferko, Thomas M., 2018, A revision of the cleptoparasitic bee genus Epeolus Latreille for Nearctic species, north of Mexico (Hymenoptera, Apidae), ZooKeys 755, pp. 1-185: 68-70

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Epeolus erigeronis Mitchell, 1962


20. Epeolus erigeronis Mitchell, 1962   Figs 43, 44, 92E

Epeolus erigeronis   Mitchell, 1962. N. C. Agric. Exp. Stn. Tech. Bull. 152: 445 (♀).


The following morphological features in combination (excluding any that are specific to the opposite sex of the one being diagnosed) can be used to tell E. erigeronis   apart from all other North American Epeolus   except E. ilicis   and E. inornatus   : the mandible is simple; the axilla does not attain the midlength of the mesoscutellum but the free portion is distinctly hooked, with the tip unattached to the mesoscutellum for more than 1/3 of the entire medial length of the axilla; the pronotal collar and metasomal terga are black; the metasomal terga have rather fine punctures; and the pseudopygidial area of the female is distinctly campanulate with the apex <2 × the medial length and not in contact with two large patches of pale tomentum (one on each side) throughout its length (in contact only at apex, diverging basally). Although in all three species the mesopleuron is closely and evenly punctate, in E. erigeronis   the punctures are more variable in size, with many smaller punctures among large ones, and most interspaces are narrower such that the surface appears to be very coarsely and densely rugose-punctate. By contrast, in E. ilicis   and E. inornatus   the mesopleuron has punctures that are similar in size and shiny interspaces that are commonly equal to the puncture diameters.


FEMALE: Length 8.6 mm; head length 2.2 mm; head width 3.0 mm; fore wing length 6.3 mm.

Integument coloration. Mostly black; notable exceptions as follows: partially to entirely ferruginous on mandible, labrum, antenna, pronotal lobe, tegula, and legs. Mandible with apex darker than all but extreme base. Antenna brown except scape, pedicel, and F1 orange in part. Pronotal lobe and tegula pale ferruginous to amber. Wing membrane subhyaline, apically dusky. Legs more extensively reddish orange than brown or black.

Pubescence. Face with tomentum densest around antennal socket. Tomentum slightly sparser on clypeus; upper paraocular and frontal areas, and vertexal area mostly exposed. Dorsum of mesosoma and metasoma with bands of off-white to pale yellow short appressed setae. Mesoscutum with paramedian band. Mesopleuron with upper half hairy, except beneath base of fore wing (hypoepimeral area); ventrolateral half nearly bare. Metanotum with tomentum uninterrupted except for median bare patch in posterior half, uniformly off white. T1 with discal patch quadrangular and very wide, the basal and apical fasciae only narrowly joined laterally. T1 and T2 with apical fasciae interrupted medially, those of T2 and T3 somewhat broader laterally, T2 with fascia with faint anterolateral extensions of sparser tomentum. T3 and T4 with fasciae complete. T5 with two large patches of pale tomentum lateral to and separate from pseudopygidial area. T5 with pseudopygidial area campanulate, its apex less 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 extending beyond apex of sternum by 1/3 MOD.

Surface sculpture. Punctures dense. Labrum with larger punctures than clypeus, but punctures of both equally dense (i<1d). Small impunctate matte 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 rugose-punctate (i<1d), the interspaces somewhat dull due to surface microsculpture; mesopleuron with many smaller punctures among large ones, punctures more or less equally dense throughout. Metasomal terga with punctures very fine, dense (i=1-2d), evenly distributed on disc; the interspaces shining somewhat.

Structure. Mandible without preapical tooth. Labrum with pair of small subapical denticles not preceded by carinae. Frontal keel not strongly raised. Scape with greatest length 1.8 × greatest width. F2 noticeably longer than wide (L/W ratio = 1.6). Preoccipital ridge not joining hypostomal carina, from which it is separated by no less than 1 MOD at its terminal. Mesoscutellum weakly bigibbous. Axilla intermediate in size, its lateral margin (L) nearly half as long as mesoscutellar width (W) (L/W ratio = 0.4-0.5) and tip attaining midlength of mesoscutellum; axilla with tip conspicuously diverging from side of mesoscutellum, distinctly hooked, and axilla with free portion 2/5 its medial length; axilla with lateral margin arcuate and carinate. Fore wing with three submarginal cells. Pygidial plate apically truncate.

MALE: Description as for female except for usual secondary sexual characters and as follows: F2 shorter, but still longer than wide (L/W ratio = 1.3); S4 and S5 with much longer coppery to silvery subapical hairs; pygidial plate apically rounded, with large deep punctures closely clustered basomedially and sparser apically and laterally, with the interspaces shining.


South Atlantic states (Fig. 44).


HOST RECORDS: The host species of E. erigeronis   is/are presently unknown.

FLORAL RECORDS: Mitchell (1962) indicated floral associations with Erigeron quercifolius   Lam. ( Compositae  ), Hypericum   L. ( Hypericaceae  ), and Melilotus albus   Medik. ( Leguminosae  ). Labels of examined voucher specimens further indicate associations with Clinopodium ashei   (Weath.) Small ( Lamiaceae  ), Ilex glabra   (L.) A. Gray ( Aquifoliaceae  ), and Vaccinium darrowii   Camp ( Ericaceae  ).


Epeolus erigeronis   exhibits very little intraspecific morphological variation. However, in some specimens the axillae are partially ferruginous whereas in oth ers they and the mesoscutellum are entirely black. Based on examined records, adults of E. erigeronis   are active throughout spring.

Although BIN-compliant sequences are presently not available for E. erigeronis   , four partial sequences (three 422 bp and one 394 bp in length) are available for specimens from North and South Florida, and these sequences form a distinct cluster that does not include any sequences from other Epeolus   species in a NJ tree (Suppl. material 2).

Material studied.

Type material. Primary: USA: Florida: Levy County, 13.iv.1955, H.V. Weems, Jr. (holotype ♀, FSCA).

Secondary: USA: Florida: Alachua County, 15.iv.1955, R.A. Morse (paratype ♀, FSCA); Levy County, 13.iv.1955, H.V. Weems, Jr. (allotype ♂, FSCA); North Carolina: Southport, 24.vi.1928, T.B. Mitchell (paratype ♀, NHMUK).

DNA barcoded material with BIN-compliant sequences.


Non-barcoded material examined.

USA: Florida: 5 mi S Paynes Prairie (SE Gainesville, Alachua County), 05-12.v.1996, B.D. Sutton (1♀, FSCA); Apalachicola National Forest (30.3292°N; 84.5052°W) (Wakulla County), 08-15.v.2005, Ronquist lab (1♀, PCYU); Archbold Biological Station (Highlands County), 10.v.1979, H.V. Weems, Jr. and S. Halkin (1♀, BBSL), 17-23.iv.2007, S.M. Paiero (1♂, DEBU), 17.v.2005, M. Deyrup (1♀, ABS), 08.iv.1980, H.V. Weems, Jr. and F.E. Lohrer (1♀, FSCA), 24.iii.1980, H.V. Weems, Jr. and F.E. Lohrer (1♂, FSCA); Archbold Biological Station (27.1838°N; 81.3532°W) (Highlands County), 23.v.2010, M. Deyrup (1♀, ABS), 28.v.2010, M. Deyrup (1♀, ABS); Austin Cary Forest (Gainesville, Alachua County), 10.vi.1976 (1♂, UCBME), 16.x.1977, G.B. Fairchild (1♀, UCBME), 17.v.1991, L.R. Davis, Jr. (1♀, FSCA), 20.vi.1978, G.B. Fairchild and H.V. Weems, Jr. (1♀, UCBME); Brighton, 07.iv.1937, H.I. Scudder (1♀, CAS); Flamingo Villas Preserve (27.4487°N; 81.3767°W) (Highlands County), 01.vi.2009, M. Deyrup, A. May, and H. Otte (1♀, ABS); Flamingo Villas Preserve (27.4515°N; 81.3854°W) (Highlands County), 05.v.2010, M. Deyrup and J. Dunlap (1♀, ABS); Highlands Hammock State Park, 14.iv.1968, H.V. Weems, Jr. (2♀, FSCA); Kincaid Road (SE Gainesville, Alachua County), 03.iv.1999, B.D. Sutton (1♀, FSCA); Lake Placid (27.2195°N; 81.3803°W) (Highlands County), 14.iv.2010, M. Deyrup and J. Dunlap (1♀, ABS); New Smyrna Beach, 14.iii.1943, R.L. Usinger (1♂, EMEC); Osceola National Forest (Baker County and Columbia County line), 13-26.iv.1977, J.R. Wiley (1♂, FSCA), 01.v.2011, S. Lenberger (1♀, FSCA); San Felasco State Hammock Preserve, 16.v.1977, G.B. Fairchild and H.V. Weems, Jr. (1♀, UCBME).