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Anthophora abrupta Say, 1837


Scientific Name: Anthophora abrupta Say, 1837

Common Name: Abrupt Digger Bee


Anthophora abrupta Say, 1837: 409 [♂].

     Neotype ♂, designated by Brooks (1983: 54). USA, Indiana, Greenfield, 8 July 1935, by Amick [AMNH no. AMNH_IZC 00324408].

Anthophora sponsa Smith, 1854: 339 [♀]. Synonymy by Cresson (1879: 227).

     Holotype ♀. USA [BMNH no. 17b721].


Taxonomic notes: The holotype of Anthophora abrupta Say was destroyed, so a neotype was designated by Brooks (1988). Smith (1854: 339) suggested that his species was likely the ♀ of A. abrupta, which was later confirmed by Cresson (1879). Schwarz (1928: 370) indicated that all the specimens described by Smith (1854) from the USA were from Georgia.

Brooks (1983: 52) indicated that A. abrupta was most similar to A. bomboides Kirby, though was unique with the combination of the black head and abdomen, and pale thorax, a combination never found in A. bomboides (Brooks 1983).

Biology: Riley (1877), Walsh (1868), Frison (1922), Rau (1922, 1929), Norden and Scarborough (1982), Norden (1984) studied aspects of nesting, nest associates, and life history. Frison (1922) that this species nests in large aggregations, and winters as a mature larvae. Though the species typically will nest in vertical banks, and artifical clay nests (Graham et al. 2015), it will also used the soil surrounding uprooted trees (i.e., root plates) (Campbell et al. 2017).

Distribution in Canada: Cresson 1879 ["Can."]; Brodie and White 1883 [Canada]; Brooks 1988 [ON, QC].

Cresson (1879) indicated "Can." as part of the distribution for this species, though provided not further details, which was likely the source of information for Brodie and While (1883).


Say T (1837) Descriptions of new species of North American Hymenoptera, and observations on some already described. Boston Journal of Natural History 1: 361-416.

Smith F (1853) Catalogue of Hymenopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. British Museum, London, 198 pp.

Brodie W, White JE (1883) Label list of insects of the Dominion of Canada. Natural History Society of Toronto. C. Blackett Robinson, Toronto.

Brooks RW (1988) Systematics and phylogeny of anthophorine bees (Hymenoptera; Anthophoridae: Anthophorini). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin 53(9): 437-575.

Cresson ET (1879) Catalogue of North American Apidae. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 7: 215-232.

Frison TH (1922) Notes on the life history, parasites and inquiline associates of Anthophora abrupta Say, with some comparisons with the habits of certain other Anthophorinae (Hymenoptera). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 48(2): 137-156.

Graham JR, Willcox E, Ellis JD (2015) The potential management of a ground-nesting, solitary bee: Anthophora abrupta (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Florida Entomologist 98(2): 528-535.

Norden BB (1984) Nesting biology of Anthophora abrupta (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 57: 243–262.

Norden BB, Scarborough AG (1982) Predators, parasites and associates of Anthophora abrupta Say (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae). Proceedings of the New York Entomological Society 90: 181-185.

North F, Lillywhite H (1980) The function of burrow turrets in a gregariously nesting bee. The Southwestern Naturalist 25: 373-378.

Rau P (1922) Ecological and behavior notes on Missouri insects. Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis 24: 1-71.

Rau P (1929) The biology and behavior of mining bees, Anthophora abrupta and Entechnia taurea. Psyche 36(3): 155-181.

Riley CV (1877) On a remarkable new genus in Meloidae infesting mason-bee cells in the United States. Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis 3: 563-565.

Walsh BD (1868) Mason bees and their habits. American Entomologist 1: 8-11.

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.

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Polylectic
Wintering Stage: Mature Larva

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Ontario, Quebec
Ecozone: Boreal Shield, Mixwood Plains

Distribution Map