Bees of Canada Logo

Epeolus minimus (Robertson, 1902)


Scientific Name: Epeolus minimus (Robertson, 1902)

Common Name: Least Cellophane-cuckoo Bee


Triepeolus minimus Robertson, 1902: 81 [♀]

     Holotype ♀. USA, Illinois, Carlinville, by C. Robertson [INHS no. 62276].  

Epeolus beulahensis Cockerell, 1904: 40 [♀] [synonymy by Onuferko 2017: 37]

     Holotype ♀. USA: New Mexico, Beulah, 11 July [no year provided], by T.D.A. Cockerell [USNM no. 534040].

Epeolus lutzi Cockerell, 1921: 16 [♂‚] [synonymy by Onuferko 2017: 37]

     Holotype ♂‚. USA, Colorado, Walsenburg, 14 June 1919 [AMNH no.  25098].22953 

Epeolus lutzi dimissus Cockerell, 1921: 16 [♀] [synonymy by Onuferko 2017: 37]

     Holotype ♀. USA, Colorado, Leadville, 03-05 August 1919 [AMNH no. 25099]

Epeolus arciferus Cockerell, in Cockerell and Sandhouse, 1924: 319 [♀] [synonymy by Onuferko 2017: 37]

     Holotype ♀. USA, California, Pacific Grove (Monterey County), September 1920, by F.E. Blaisdell [CAS no. 01614]. 

Epeolus pilatei Cockerell, in Cockerell and Sandhouse, 1924: 320 [♀] [synonymy by Onuferko 2017: 37]

     Holotype ♀. USA, California, San Pedro, 25 October 1909, by G.R. Pilate [CAS no. 01615]

Epeolus eastwoodae Cockerell, 1937: 149 [♂‚]. [synonymy by Rust 1984: 119]

     Holotype ♂‚. USA, California, Cuyler’s Cove (San Miguel Island), 27 July 1927 [sic 1937], by T.D.A. Cockerell [CAS no. 4651]


Species Notes

Rust (1984: 119) indicated that the holotype catalogue number at INHS is #22953, differing from the number recently recorded by Onuferko (2017: 37; and 2018: 126).

Onuferko (2021) described a form of this species from Saskatchewan in which some of the pubescence paler than normal.

The DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN) for this species is BOLD:AAD3554.



Onuferko (2018) suggested that Colletes kincaidii is likely the host of this species as the two have been collected together in Manitoba in Canada; previous tentative association of this cuckoo with C. eulophi Robertson (i.e. Graenicher 1906) were due to misidentification (Stephen 1954).


Distribution in Canada

Onuferko (2017, 2018) indicates that this is one of the most widespread Epeolus in Canada, ranging from Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbis, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitona, Ontario, and Quebec.



Cockerell TDA (1904) II.—Some parasitic bees. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7, 13(73): 33–42.

Cockerell TDA (1921) The epeoline bees of the American Museum Rocky Mountain expeditions. American Museum Novitates 23: 1–16.

Cockerell TDA (1937) Bees from San Miguel Island. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 13: 148–157.

Cockerell TDA, Sandhouse G (1924) Parasitic bees (Epeolinae and Melectinae) in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 13: 305–324.

Graenicher S (1906) A contribution to our knowledge of the visual memory of bees. Bulletin of The Wisconsin Natural History Society 4: 135–142.

Onuferko TM (2017) Cleptoparasitic bees of the genus Epeolus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Canada. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification No. 30: 1–62.

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

Robertson C (1902) Some new or little known bees. Entomological News 13: 79–81.

Rust RW (1984) Synonymy in California Channel Island Epeolini bees (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae). The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 60(2): 119–121.

Stephen WP (1954) A revision of the bee genus Colletes in America North of Mexico (Hymenoptera, Colletidae). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin 36 (1): 149–527.


Onuferko TM (2021) Anomalously pale-haired specimens in three genera of cleptoparasitic bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Nomadinae). The Great Lakes Entomologist 54(1): 53-57.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon
Ecozone: Boreal Cordillera, Boreal Plains, Boreal Shield, Mixwood Plains, Pacific Maritime, Prairie, Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map