Monday, December 12, 2016

A new bee: Triepeolus cecilyae

The family Apidae is the largest group of bees containing at least 5,700 species of the total known 20,000 of them. The family includes some of the most commonly known bees, such as bumblebees and honey bees, but also lesser known stingless bees (also used for honey production), carpenter bees, orchid bees, and cuckoo bees. The latter comprise of some bee species which show so-called kleptoparasitic behaviour which means they are laying their eggs in the nests of other bees, reminiscent of the behavior of cuckoo birds.

Today's new species,  Triepeolus cecilyae, belongs to this group of bees and was found in Chile. It was named after Cecily Bradshaw, a friend and advocate for, and supporter of, bee research who also happened to be a former student of mine in one of my online courses.

For the experts: Triepeolus cecilyae Packer, new species, and Doeringiella mamabee Packer, new species, both from the far north of Chile are described and illustrated. Both are known from single
male specimens despite considerable search effort in the area of their provenance. The former
species is the first of the genus recorded from Chile. A key to the three species of Doeringiella
Holmberg known from Chile is provided. Caupolicana dimidiata Herbst is recorded as a likely
host of D. gigas (Spinola).

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