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Epimelissodes obliqua obliqua (Say, 1837)


Scientific Name: Epimelissodes obliqua obliqua (Say, 1837)

Common Name: Oblique Longhorn Bee


Macrocera obliqua Say, 1837: 403 [♂].

     Syntype ♂. USA, Indiana [type material presumably destroyed].


Taxonomic notes: The ♀ was known to Cresson (1872: 275) but described in detail by LaBerge (1956: 988). LaBerge (1956) recognized two additional subspecies based on hair colour (as Melissodes (Epimelissodes) obliqua (Say, 1837), Epimelissodes obliquus caliginosus (Cresson, 1878) and Epimelissodes (Epimelissodes) obliquus expurgatus (Cockerell, 1925), though only the typical form has been recorded from Canada.

Biology: Rozen (1964) described the larva. Rau (1922), Custer (1928, 1929), and Rozen (1964) described the nesting biology. Custer (1928) suggested that multiple females may use the same nest entrance. Nests are probably parasitized by Triepeolus concavus (Cresson, 1878).

Distribution in Canada: Provancher 1888 [QC]; Gibson 1914 [ON] [ON]; LaBerge 1956 [ON, QC]; Mitchell 1962 [QC]; Hurd 1979 [southern ON].

Records of this species from QC by Provancher (1888: 299) and subsequent authors are based on misidentified material; Provancher's specimens were Melissodes agilis Cresson, 1878 and Andrena frigida Smith, 1853 (see Sheffield and Perron 2014: 154). The specimen from Chatam, ON was collected by F.W.L. Sladen on 22 August 1913, and likely identified by S. Graenicher.

Body length: ♀ 13-19 mm ♂ 12 - 18 mm

Forewing length: ♀ 5.2 - 6.0 mm ♂ 4.7 - 5.7 mm


Cresson ET (1872) Hymenoptera Texana. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 4: 153-292.

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.

Say T (1837) Descriptions of new species of North American Hymenoptera, and observations on some already described. Boston Journal of Natural History 1: 361-416.

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

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

Custer CP (1928) On the nesting habits of Melissodes Latr. (Hymenop.). The Canadian Entomologist 60(2): 28-31.

Custer CP (1929) Notes on cocoons and parasites of Melissodes obliqua and nests of Perdita opuntiae (Hymenoptera-Apoidea). Psyche 36: 293-295.

LaBerge WE (1956) A revision of the bees of the genus Melissodes in North and Central America. Part I. (Hymenoptera, Apidae). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37(18): 911-1194.

Rozen JG (1964) The biology of Svastra obliqua obliqua (Say), with a taxonomic description of its larvae (Apoidea, Anthophoridae). American Museum Novitates 2170: 1-13.

Sociality: Communal, Solitary
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Broad Oligolecty
Wintering Stage: Mature Larva

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Ontario
Ecozone: Mixwood Plains

Distribution Map