Scientific Name: Epeolus ilicis Mitchell, 1962

Common Name: Holly Cellophane-cuckoo Bee


Epeolus ilicis Mitchell, 1962: 448 [♀,♂‚]

     Holotype ♀. USA, North Carolina, Pender County, Holly Shelter, 30 May 1950, by T.B. Mitchell, on Ilex glabra [USNM no. 534048].

Epeolus vernalis Mitchell, 1962: 455 [♀] [synonymy by Onuferko 2018: 102].

     Holotype ♀. USA, North Carolina, Holly Shelter, 18 May 1950, by T.B. Mitchell [USNM no. 534607].

Epeolus weemsi Mitchell, 1962: 455 [♂‚]  [synonymy by Onuferko 2018: 102].

     Holotype ♂‚. USA, Florida, Alachua County, 23 February 1957, by H.V. Weems, Jr. [FSCA].


Species Notes

Though Mitchell (1962) and Brumley (1965) indicated that this species occurs in the northeastern USA (including many of the paratypes), Onuferko (2018) indicated that some of the paratypes of E. ilicis represent another species, E. inornatus Onuferko. Thus, the floral records and associated range of this species are based on the species concept of Onuferko (2018). 

The DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN) has not yet been assigned.



Rozen (1989) confirmed Colletes brimleyi Mitchell as the host by recovering two first instar larvae of the cuckoo in the nest.


Distribution in Canada

This species does not occur in Canada. Though Romankova (2004) reported this species from two sites in southern Ontario (see map), Onuferko (2017) was not able to find these specimens to verify their identity. Thus, Onuferko (2018) indicated that this species did not occur in Canada, being restricted to the southeastern USA. The confirmed host, Colletes brimleyi Mitchell (Rozen 1989) has also not been recorded from Canada (see Stephen 1954; Mitchell 1960; Romankova 2003), supporting that this species likely does not occur in Canada (Onuferko 2017, 2018). Thus, this species will not be added to the tally of species occurring in Canada.

If the specimens examined by Romankova (2004) can be found and verified, it may support that E. inornatus Onuferko occurs in Canada, or as Onuferko (2018) speculated, could be E. gibbsi Onuferko known from Manitoba in Canada.



Brumley RL (1965) A Revision of the Bee Genus Epeolus Latreille of Western America North of Mexico. M.S. thesis. Logan, Utah: Utah State University. iii + 92 pp.

Mitchell TB (1960) Bees of the eastern United States. Volume I. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 141: 1-538.

Mitchell TB (1962) Bees of the eastern United States. Volume II. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 152: 1–557.

Onuferko TM (2017) Cleptoparasitic bees of the genus Epeolus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Canada. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification No. 30: March 30, 2017. doi:10.3752/cjai.2017.30

Onuferko TM (2018) A revision of the cleptoparasitic bee genus Epeolus Latreille for Nearctic species, north of Mexico (Hymenoptera, Apidae). ZooKeys 755: 1–185. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.755.23939

Romankova T (2003) Bees of genus Colletes of Ontario (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Colletidae). Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 134: 91–106.

Romankova T (2004) Ontario bees of tribe Epeolini: Epeolus Latreille and Triepeolus Robertson (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Nomadinae). Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 135: 87–99.

Rozen Jr. JG (1989) Morphology and systematic significance of first instars of the cleptoparasitic bee tribe Epeolini (Anthophoridae: Nomadinae). American Museum Novitates 2957: 1–19.

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

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Vaccinium sp., Amorpha sp., Rhus glabra, Ilex glabra, Lyonia ligustrina

Distribution Map