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Epeoloides pilosulus (Cresson, 1878)


Scientific Name: Epeoloides pilosulus (Cresson, 1878)

Common Name: Macropis Cuckoo Bee


Nomada pilosula Cresson, 1878: 77 [♂].

     Holotype ♂. USA, New York [ANSP no. 2601].

*Nomia compacta Provancher, 1888: 337 [♂]. Synonymy by Mitchell (1962: 491).

     Type ♂. CANADA, Quebec, Cap Rouge [ULQC no. 1670; assumed lost, see Sheffield and Perron 2014: 146].

*Epeolus pilosulus Provancher, 1888: 426 [♂, not ♀ as described]. Synonymy by Mitchell (1962: 491).

     Lectotype ♂, designated by Sheffield and Perron (2014: 146). CANADA, Quebec, Cap Rouge [ULQC no. 1529].

Viereckella obscura Swenk, 1907: 299 [♀]. Synonymy by C.D. Michener, in Sheffield et al. (2004: 162).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Nebraska, Sarpy County, Meadow, 14 July 1905, by P.R. Jones [University of Nebraska].

Viereckella ceanothina Cockerell, 1907, in Swenk 1907: 300 [♀]. Synonymy of Viereckella pilosula (Cresson, 1878) by Swenk (1913: 113).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Virginia, Falls Church, 14 June [no year provided], by N. Banks, on Ceanothus [UNSM?]

Epeoloides nearcticus Ducke, 1909: 39 [♀]. Synonymy by Crawford (1917: 167).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Pennsylvania, Sunbury, by Baker [Baker Collection????].

Epeolus pilosus Sheffield and Perron, 2014: 146. Lapsus of Epeoloides pilosulus (Cresson, 1878).


Taxonomic notes: Though Swenk (1913: 113) synonymized Viereckella ceanothina Cockerell, 1907 under Epeoloides pilosulus (Cresson, 1878), he, and later Crawford (1917: 167) felt that Epeoloides obscura (Swenk, 1907) was a valid species, and it was recognized as such (e.g., Linsley and Michener 1939: 295; Linsley 1951: 1218; Hurd 1979: 2087) until 2004 when it was synonymized under Epeoloides pilosulus by C.D. Michener (in Sheffield et al. 2004: 162), though he suspected this earlier (Michener 2000: 655).

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAL0612

Biology: This species is presumed to be a nest parasite of Macropis nuda (Provancher, 1882) in Canada based on the well-known associations between the more abundant European species (Epeoloides coecutiens, and its two confirmed Macropis hosts, Macropis europaea Warncke, 1973 and Macropis fulvipes (Fabricius, 1804) [Pekkarinen et al. 2003; Bogusch 2003, 2005; Celary 2004]); as well as historical (see Ascher 2005) and recent (Sheffield et al. 2004; Wagner and Ascher 2008; Sheffield and Heron 2018; Gibbs et al. 2021) co-occurrence of host and cuckoo in and near host’s food plant patches.

Distribution in Canada: Provancher 1888 [QC, as Nomia compacta Provancher]; Cockerell 1898 [Canada, as Nomia compacta Provancher; treatment of Nomia]; Criddle et al. 1924 [MB, QC]; Sheffield et al. 2004 [NS], 2014 [SK, MB]; Sheffield and Heron 2018 [AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NS]; Gibbs et al. 2021 [MB], 2023 [MB].

Though earlier records for Canada existed (see above), Linsley (1951: 1218) did not record this species from Canada. There is a single observation of this species from New Brunswick on iNaturalist (


Cresson ET (1878) Descriptions of new North American Hymenoptera in the collection of the American Entomological Society. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 7: 61-136.

Provancher L (1888) Additions et Corrections au Volume II de la Faune Entomologique du Canada Traitant des Hyménoptères. Quebec, Darveau.

Hurd PD (1979) Superfamily Apoidea. In: Krombein KV, Hurd Jr PD, Smith DR, Burks BD (Eds) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 2735 pp.

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

Sheffield C, Perron J (2014) Annotated catalogue of the bees described by Léon Provancher (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). The Canadian Entomologist 146 (2): 117-169.

Sheffield C, Rigby S, Smith R, Kevan P (2004) The rare cleptoparasitic bee Epeoloides pilosula (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apidae) discovered in Nova Scotia, Canada, with distributional notes. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 77(3): 161-164.

Swenk MH (1907) The bees of Nebraska.—III. Entomological News 18: 293-300.

Gibbs J, Hanuschuk EJ, Shukla-Bergen S (2021) Rediscovery of the rare bee Epeoloides pilosulus in Manitoba (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 93(2): 176-182.

Bequaert J (1920) Hymenoptera collected near Boston, Mass., with description of a variety of Bombus affinis. Psyche 27(1): 6-12.

Sheffield C, Heron J (2018) A new western Canadian record of Epeoloides pilosulus (Cresson), with discussion of ecological associations, distribution, and conservation status in Canada. Biodiversity Data Journal 6: e22837.

Linsley EG, Michener CD (1939) A generic revision of the North American Nomadidae (Hymenoptera). Transactions of the American Entomological Society. 65(3): 265-305.

Swenk MH (1913) Studies of North American bees I. Family Nomadidae. Univeristy Studies of the University of Nebraska 12(1): 1-113.

Linsley EG (1951) Tribe Epeolini. 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. 1211-1218.

Linsley EG (1951) Tribe Epeoloidini. 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. 1218.

Ducke A (1909) Contributions à la connaissance des Hymémoptères des deux Amériques. Revue d'entomologie 27: 28-55

Crawford JC (1917) New Hymenoptera. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 19: 167-172.

Michener CD (2000) The Bees of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. xiv + 913 pp.

Ascher JS (2005) Species profile: Epeoloides pilosula. In: Shepherd MD, Vaughan DM, Black SH (eds). Red List of Pollinator Insects of North America. Portland, OR: The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Bogush P (2005) Biology of the cleptoparasitc bee Epeoloides coecutiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Osirini). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 78:1-12.

Celary W (2004) A comparative study of the biology of Macropis fulvipes (Fabricius, 1804) and Macropis europaea Warncke, 1973 (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Melittidae). Folia Biologica 52: 81-85.

Bogush P (2003) Hosts, foraging behaviour and distribution of six species of cleptoparasitic bees of the subfamily Anthophorinae (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemicae. 67: 65-70.

Wagner D, Ascher J (2008) Rediscovery of Epeoloides pilosula (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in New England. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 81 (2): 81 83.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Ceanothus sp., Rudbeckia hirta, Symphyotrichum falcatum var. commutatum, Eurybia macrophylla, Apocynum androsaemifolium

Distribution: Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan
Ecozone: Atlantic Maritime, Boreal Plains, Boreal Shield, Mixwood Plains, Prairie

female; lateral view
female; lateral view

Distribution Map