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Augochloropsis metallica (Fabricius, 1793)


Scientific Name: Augochloropsis metallica (Fabricius, 1793)

Common Name: Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee


Andrena metallica Fabricius, 1793: 309 [♀] (not Andrena metallica Radoszkowski, 1876 = Andrena (Melandrena) metallescens Cockerell, 1906).

     Holotype ♀. North America [NHMD no. 308680].

Augochlora fervida Smith, 1853: 81 [♂]. Synonymy of Augochlora cuprea Smith, 1853 by Sandhouse (1937: 74); synonym of A. metallica metallica (Fabricius, 1793) by Mitchell (1960: 465).

     Holotype ♂. North America [BMNH].

Augochlora (Augochloropsis) cleomis Titus, 1901: 135 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy of A. metallica metallica by Moure (1960: 102).

     Syntypes ♀, ♂. USA, Colorado, Ft. Collins, Horsetooth Gulch, at over 7,000 ft., ♀ 17 July [no year provided], ♂ 19 August [no year provided], on Cleome serratula [Colorado Agricultural College].

Halictus (Augochlora) chorisis Vachal, 1903b: 136 [♀]. Synonymy of Augochlora cuprea Smith, 1853 by Sandhouse (1937: 74); of Augochloropsis metallica metallica (Fabricius, 1793) by Mitchell (1960: 465).   

     Lectotype ♀, designated by J.S. Moure, in Moure and Hurd (1987: 295). USA, Georgia, by Morrison [Musée de Paris].


Taxonomic notes: The species concept of Augochloropsis metallica (Fabricius, 1793) used by Portman et al. (2022: 129) differs greatly from that of Sandhouse (1937), Moure (1960), Mitchell (1960), and others (e.g., Hurd 1979; Moure and Hurd 1987). Sandhouse (1937) did not include Fabricius’ (Fabricius, 1793) species in her revision, instead using Augochlora cuprea Smith, 1853 as the valid name. Moure (1960: 102), and J.S. Moure, in Mitchell (1960: 465) synonymized Augochlora cuprea under A. metallica metallica, with both works recognizing subspecies for the typical form and A. metallica fulgida (Smith, 1853) (Mitchell 1960: 465; Moure 1960: 103), the latter Portman et al. (2022) recognized as A. viridula (Smith, 1853) (see below); Sandhouse (1937: 74) considerd Augochlora viridula Smith, 1853 as a synonym of Augochlora cuprea, while Mitchell (1960: 465) and Moure (1960: 102) of and A. metallica metallica.

Though J.S. Moure, in Mitchell (1960: 465) (and see Moure 1960: 102) synonymized Augochlora cuprea under A. metallica metallica, Poore (1974: 45) still used the name Augochlora cuprea as a valid taxon, though with “(Sm.)” listed as the author; this was likely in error and a reference to A. metallica. However, Portman et al. (2022: 142) noted morphological differences between A. metallica and the holotype of A. cuprea [at OUMNH] and recognized the latter (as Augochloropsis cuprea (Smith, 1853)) as a valid taxon, though indicated that more material will be needed to clarify the status of this species.

In addition, Portman et al. (2022: 144) recognized Augochloropsis fulgida (Smith, 1853) as a valid taxon and not a synonym of A. metallica, though indicated that more material was needed to clarify the status of this species; Mitchell’s (1960: 465) use of it as a subspecies was incorrect, with that taxon now called A. viridula (Smith, 1853) (see below, and Portman et al. 2022).

Though Sandhouse (1937: 74) synonymized Augochlora (Augochloropsis) cleomis Titus, 1901 under Augochlora cuprea Smith, 1853, Portman et al. (2022: 129) credit the synonymy under A. metallica (Fabricius, 1793) to Moure (1960: 102) as they considered A. cuprea a valid taxon distinct from A. metallica. However, Portman et al. (2022: 129) also attibute the synonymy of Augochlora fervida Smith, 1853 under A. metallica [metallica] to both Mitchell (1960) and Moure (1960), though the latter does not include this taxon.

Vachal (1903b: 136) described the ♀ of Halictus (Augochlora) chorisis Vachal, 1903 suggesting that it was possibly Aug[ochlora]. cuprea Sm[ith].” which was considered a valid species by Portman et al. (2022). J.S. Moure (in Hurd and Moure 1987: 295) designated a ♀ as the lectotype, thus confirming the synonymy under A. metallica metallia (Fabricius, 1793) proposed by Mitchell (1960: 465). However, Vachal (1904a: 13) also indicated that the ♂ of his Halictus chorisis was possibly Augochlora viridula Smith, 1853 (here considered a valid species) or Augochlora fervida Smith, 1853 [= A. metallica (Fabricius)], both also described from the ♂. As the ♂ was not treated in the same publication year as the ♀ (thus was not part of the type series), and because J.S. Moure’s lectotype designation, the status of Vachal’s ♂ of Halictus chorisis has no bearing on the present classification used here, though it may have been incorrectly associated with its ♀.

Though many authors have included Augochlora fulvofimbriata Friese, 1917 (Friese, 1917) as a synonym of Augochlora cuprea Smith, 1853 (Sandhouse 1937: 74) or A. metallica metallica (Mitchell 1960: 465; Hurd 1979: 1948; Moure and Hurd 1987: 295), Michener (1954: 88), Moure et al. (2007: 785), Celis and Cure (2017: 1288), and most recently Portman et al. (2022: 131) recognized it as a valid species. The phylogenetic analysis of Celis and Cure (2017: 1280) placed it in the subgenus Augochloropsis Cockerell, 1897.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAI7955

Though there are additional BINs associated with this name (e.g., BOLD:ABX8240; BOLD:AEI8365; BOLD:AFE4456, the former from the southeastern USA, the two latter from Arizona), only BIN BOLD:AAI7955 includes specimens from Canada as is assume to be associated with this taxon.

Distribution in Canada: Sandhouse 1937 [ON, as Augochloropsis cuprea (Smith)]; Michener 1951 [ON, as Augochloropsis cuprea (Smith)]; Mitchell 1960 [ON, as Augochloropsis metallica metallica (Fabricius), though also calls it A. cuprea on pg 466]; Knerer and Atwood 1962 [ON]; Sugar et al. 1999 [ON]; Normandin et al. 2017 [QC].

In a recent review of the genus in the midwestern United States, Portman et al. (2022) only recorded one species from Canada [ON], Augochloropsis viridula (Smith, 1853). Examination of females and males from ON support this, and it is possible, due to the confusing taxonomy of these species emphasized by Portman et al. (2022) that the past records of A. metallica from Canada cited above, and DNA barcodes from Canadian specimens may be A. viridula. More material from Canada will need to be examined to clarify this, 

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Polylectic

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Ontario, Quebec
Ecozone: Mixwood Plains