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Chelostoma minutum Crawford, 1916


Scientific Name: Chelostoma minutum Crawford, 1916

Common Name: Minute Scissor Bee


Chelostoma minuta Crawford, 1916: 102 [♀].

     Holotype ♀. USA, California, Tuolumne Meadows, by F. Long [USNM no. 20616].


Taxonomic Notes: The ♂ was described by Michener (1938: 41).

Cockerell (1935: 52) was the first to correct the suffix to -um. Michener (1938: 43) recognized additional subspecies, the typical subspecies plus C. minutum cockerelli Michener, C. minutum marginatum Michener, and C. minutum incisulum Michener, all of which were subsequently recognized as valid species by Hurd and Michener (1955).

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAD2039

Biology: The nesting biology of this species was studied by Parker (1988) who indicated that it used trap nests (nesting blocks in drilled wood) with cavities of 2 mm diameter, with females producing 5.65 cells per nest on average. Nest partitions and the entrance plug are made with soil, and are approximately 0.7 mm thick (Parker 1988). Though Moldenke and Neff (1974) indicated this species was oligolectic on Phacelia, Parker (1988) found that Allium pollen made up the majority of pollen used in the provisions in most sites, suggesting narrow oligolecty on that genus, though Phacelia and Sedum(?) were used in another (Parker 1988). Sedivy et al. (2008) concluded this species was polylectic. Parker (1988) also described the cocoon.

Body length: ♀ 4-5 mm


Hurd PD, Michener CD (1955) The megachiline bees of California. Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 3: 1-247.

Parker FD (1988) Nesting biology of two North American species of Chelostoma (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 64(1): 1-7.

Sedivy C, Praz CJ, Müller A, Widmer A, Dorn S (2008) Patterns of host-plant choice in bees of the genus Chelostoma: the constraint hypothesis of host-range evolution in bees. Evolution 62(10): 2487-2507.

Cockerell TDA (1935) Some California bees. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 11(2): 49-54.

Crawford JC (1916) Nine new species of Hymenoptera. Insecutor Inscitiae Menstruus 4: 101-107.

Michener CD (1938) American bees of the genus Chelostoma. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 14(1): 36-45.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Phacelia sp., Nemophila sp., Allium sp.

Distribution: British Columbia
Ecozone: Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map