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Brachymelecta interrupta (Cresson, 1872)


Scientific Name: Brachymelecta interrupta (Cresson, 1872)

Common Name: Interrupted Digger-cuckoo Bee


Melecta interrupta Cresson, 1872: 275 [♀, ♂].

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Cresson (1916: 121). USA, Texas, Dallas County [ANSP no. 2291].

Melecta interrupta var. fallugiae Cockerell, 1904: 23 [♀]. Synonymy by Linsley (1939: 453).

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Linsley (1939: 454, by mention). USA, New Mexico, Pecos, 27 June [no year provided], by M. Grabham, on Fallugia [CAS no. 4672].

Melecta interrupta var. rociadensis Cockerell, 1904: 23 [♂]. Synonymy by Hurd and Linsley (1951: 133).

     Holotype ♂. USA, New Mexico, Rociada, 10 August [no year provided], by T.D.A. Cockerell [USNM no. 23291].


Taxonomic Notes: Though Cresson (1916: 121) selected the ♀ specimens from the type series as the lectotype, he does not indicate the specific location in Texas; the type series was from Dallas and Comal Counties. Here it assumed the former, as it was the first location provided by Cresson (1872: 275). However, the USNM also has a specimen labelled as the ♀ lectotype from Texas [USNM no. 1764].

Linsley (1939: 453) synonymized M. interrupta var. fallugiae Cockerell under M. interrupta, though continued to consider M. rociadensis Cockerell a valid species (and described the ♀ on page 454), as did Linsley (1951: 1243) and Mitchell (1962: 496), the latter despite the synonymy above. As Cockerell (1904: 23) did not clearly designate a holotype of fallugiae Cockerell from the two ♀ specimens that formed the type series, Linsley’s (1939: 454) mention of “the type” with a type locality of Pecos, New Mexico is thus considered a lectotype designation.

Biology: Mitchell (1962: 497) indicated Anthophora abrupta Say as the host, but that species has only recently been confimred in Canada (ON). However, Robertson (1926), Graenicher (1935), Bouseman (1982), and Gibbs et al. (2023) indicated that Anthophora walshii Cresson was the most likely host, and in Canada, the two species have been collected in the same area (Gibbs et al. 2023).

Distribution in Canada: Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB].

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) in Canada ( N/A [known from one site in Canada]

Approximate Global Extent of Occurrence (EOO) ( km2

Index of Area of Occupancy (IAO) in Canada ( 4 km2

Conservation: The rarity and conservation concern for this species was discussed by Bouseman (1982), who considered it one of the rarest bees in the eastern USA, though it was not included in the review by Colla et al. (2012) due to recent records.



Cresson ET (1872) Hymenoptera Texana. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 4: 153-292.

Cockerell TDA (1904) Descriptions and records of bees. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7 14(79): 21-30.

Graenicher S (1935) Bee-fauna and vegetation of Wisconsin. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 28(2): 285-310.

Mitchell TB (1962) Bees of the Eastern United States. Volume 2. North Carolina Agricultural Experimental Station Technical Bulletin 152, Raleigh, 557 pp.

Robertson C (1926) Phenology of inquiline and nest-making bees. Psyche 33: 116-120.

Gibbs J, Hanuschuk E, Miller R, Dubois M, Martini M, Robinson S, Nakagawa P, Sheffield CS, Onuferko T (2023) A checklist of the bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of Manitoba, Canada. The Canadian Entomologist 155: E3.

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

Hurd PD, Linsley EG (1951) The melectine bees of California (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 1(5): 119-140.

Linsley EG (1939) A revision of the Nearctic Melectinae. Annals of the Entomologcal Society of America 32(2): 429-468.

Bouseman JK (1982) Note on the rediscovery of Xeromelecta interrupta (Cresson) in Illinois (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 55(2): 349-350.

Linsley EG (1951) Tribe Melectini. 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. 1242-1243.

Sociality: Parasitic
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Not Applicable
Wintering Stage: Mature Larva

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Manitoba
Ecozone: Prairie

Distribution Map