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Colletes brevicornis Robertson, 1897


Scientific Name: Colletes brevicornis Robertson, 1897

Common Name: Short-horned Plasterer Bee


Colletes brevicornis Robertson, 1897: 315 [♂].

     Holotype . USA, Illinois, Carlinville [INHS].

Colletes opuntiae Cockerell, 1906d: 312 [♂, ♀]. Synonymy by Cockerell (1907b: 240), as a form of C. brevicornis Robertson; by Swenk (1908: 12).

     Holotype ♂. USA, Colorado, Boulder, 3 July 1905, by W.P. Cockerell, on Opuntia [USNM].


Taxonomic notes: The ♀ was first described by Robertson (1900: 51).

Stephen (1954: 411) incorrected designated a lectoallotype female for C. brevicornis Robertson, as Robertson (1897: 316) clearly indicated that there was only one specimen, so there were no paratypes or syntypes available.

Colletes brachycerus Swenk (1906: 44) was proposed as a replacement name for the European species, Colletes brevicornis Pérez (1903).

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAC6404

Biology: Robertson (1906: 309) indicated that this species was oligolectic on Specularia perfoliata (=Triodanis perfoliata), though Swenk (1908: 14) indicated that it also visits the closely related taxon Campanula rotundifolia, and other species, including Opuntia; Gibbs et al. (2023: 15) indicated it was oligolectic on Campanula.

Distribution in Canada: Gibson 1914 [MB], Gibson and Criddle 1920 [MB]; Stephen 1954 [MB]; Sheffield et al. 2014 [MB]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB]; Onuferko et al. 2023 [SK]; RSKM [BC, SK, ON].

Despite the earlier records of this species from Canada (see above), it was not reported in Michener (1951: 1045).

Body length: ♀ 9-10 mm ♂ 8-9 mm


Cockerell TDA (1906) Descriptions and records of bees.—IX. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7 17(99): 306-317.

Cockerell TDA (1907) The bees of Boulder County, Colorado. The University of Colorado Studies 4: 239-259.

Gibson A, Criddle N (1920) The entomological record. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 1919: 112-134.

Robertson C (1897) North American bees−descriptions and synonyms. Transactions of the Academy of Sciences of St. Louis 7: 315-356.

Robertson C (1900) Some Illinois bees. Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis 10: 47-55.

Sheffield CS, Frier SD, Dumesh D (2014) The bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes) of the Prairies Ecozone, with comparisons to other grasslands of Canada. In: Giberson DJ, Cárcamo HA (Eds) Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands (Volume 4): Biodiversity and Systematics Part 2. 4. Biological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, 479 pp. [ISBN 978-0-9689321-7-9].

Stephen WP (1954) A revision of the bee genus Colletes in America north of Mexico (Hymenoptera Colletidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 36: 149-527.

Swenk MH (1906a) New bees of the genus Colletes. The Canadian Entomologist 38: 39-44.

Swenk MH (1908) Specific characters in the bee genus Colletes. Papers from the University Studies Series, The University of Nebraska 8: 1-60.

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.

Gibson A (1914) The entomological record, 1913. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 44: 106-129.

Onuferko TM, Buck M, Gibbs J, Sokoloff PC (2023) Asymmetric responses by bees and aculeate wasps to dune stabilisation across the southern Canadian prairies Insect Diversity and Conservation 16:

Michener CD (1951) Subfamily Colletinae. 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. 1043-1049.

Robertson C (1906) Ecological adaptation and ecological selection. Science 23: 307-310.

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Broad Oligolecty
Wintering Stage: Adult

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Melilotus albus, Asclepias sp., Campanula sp., Campanula rotundifolia, Opuntia sp., Triodanis perfoliata perfoliata

Distribution: Manitoba, Saskatchewan
Ecozone: Prairie

Distribution Map