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Anthidium formosum Cresson, 1878


Scientific Name: Anthidium formosum Cresson, 1878

Common Name: Anthidium formosum


Anthidium formosum Cresson, 1878: 112 [♂].

     Holotype . USA, Colorado [ANSP no. 2395].

Anthidium conspicuum Cresson, 1879: 207 [♀]. Synonym by Schwarz (1940: 3, footnote 1).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Nevada, by Morrison [ANSP no. 2396].

Anthidium illustre var. consonum Cresson, 1879: 207 [♀]. Synonymy of A. conspicuum Cresson by Schwarz (1928: 391) as a variety; by Schwarz (1940: 3) as a variety of Callanthidium formosum (Cresson).

     Lectotype , by Cresson (1916: 116). USA, Nevada, by Morrison [ANSP no. 2398].

Dianthidium balli Titus, 1902: 171 [♀]. Synonymy of Anthidium conspicuum Cresson by Cockerell 1925: 366).

     Holotype . USA, Colorado, Ridgeway, 31 July [no year provided], by E.D. Ball [INHS].

Callanthidium formosum pratense Cockerell, 1925: 366 [♂]. Synonymy of Callanthidium formosum by Michener (1951: 1143).

     Holotype . USA, California, Plumas County, Meadow Valley, at 6000-7000 ft., 17 June 1924, by E.C. Van Dyke [CAS no. 1747].


Taxonomic Notes: Gonzalez and Griswold (2013: 299) indicated that the lectotype designations of Cresson (1916) for A. formosum Cresson was unnecessary, though there is no indication that Cresson (1916: 118) was doing anything other than providing a catalogue number for his species. Similarly, Cresson (1916: 116) provided a catalogue number for the holotype of A. conspicuum Cresson, though Gonzalez and Griswold (2013: 299) recorded this as a lectotype designation, which is also incorrect. By contrast, the lectotype designation of A. illustre var. consonum Cresson (Cresson 1916: 116) was required as Cresson (1879: 206-207) did not clearly distinguish the three female specimens from Nevada comprising the type series of A. illustre Cresson [Lectotype ANSP no. 2399] and A. illustre var. consonum.

The uniqueness of A. formosum Cresson has made it hard to place to genus; Cockerell (1904: 5) felt it belonged in the genus Dianthidium Cockerell which he distinguished by the presence of pulvilli or pad between the tarsal claws. Later when Cockerell (1925: 365) proposed the new genus Callanthidium Cockerell (= Anthidium (Anthidium) Fabricius, synonymy by Gonzalez and Griswold 2013: 238), he included species now considered synonymous with and including A. formosum Cresson, A. conspicuum Cresson, and described subspecies (though indicated species), Callanthidium formosum pratense Cockerell.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAJ2422

Biology: The nesting biology was studied by Parker (1987) who reared it from trap-nests in northern Utah (Logan Canyon) at high elevations (2000-3000 m). This species used tunnels of 8-10 mm in diameter, which were provisioned with mint and legume pollen.

Distribution in Canada: Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC].

This species is known in Canada from the single specimen collected by C. Dawson and J. Heron.


Cresson ET (1878) Descriptions of new North American Hymenoptera in the collection of the American Entomological Society. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 7: 61-136.

Cresson ET (1879) Descriptions of new North American Hymenoptera in the collection of the American Entomological Society. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 7: 201-214.

Cresson ET (1916) The Cresson types of Hymenoptera. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 1: 1-141.

Cockerell TDA (1904) The bees of southern California.—I. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 3: 3-6.

Cockerell TDA (1925) Anthidiine bees in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Fourth Series 14(15): 345-367.

Michener CD (1951) Family Megachilidae. In: Muesebeck CF, Krombein KV, Townes HK (Eds) Hymenoptera of America north of Mexico Synoptic Catalog. 2. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Monograph, Washington. Pp. 1136-1186.

Schwarz HF (1928) Bees of the subfamily Anthidiinae, including some new species and varieties, and some new locality records. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 36: 369-418.

Schwarz HF (1940) A key to the known anthidiine bees of Oregon, with description of some new forms. American Museum Novitates 1058: 1-8.

Gonzalez VH, Griswold TL (2013) Wool carder bees of the genus Anthidium in the Western Hemisphere (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae): diversity, host plant associations, phylogeny, and biogeography. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 168: 221-425.

Titus ESG (1902) Three new Anthidiinae from Colorado. Entomological News 13: 169-171.

Parker FD (1987) Nests of Callanthidium from block traps (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 63(2): 125-129.

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Cavity Renter
Pollen Specialization: Broad Oligolecty
Wintering Stage: Mature Larva

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: British Columbia
Ecozone: Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map