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Holcopasites illinoiensis (Robertson, 1891)


Scientific Name: Holcopasites illinoiensis (Robertson, 1891)

Common Name: Dusty Cuckoo Nomad Bee


Phileremus illinoiensis Robertson, 1891: 64 [♀, ♂].

     Lectotype ♀ [desingated by W.E. LaBerge, in Webb 1980: 110]. USA, Illinois, Carlinville, 14 July 1888, by C.A. Robertson [INHS, Robertson no. 8462].

Holcopasites pratti Ashmead, in Crawford 1915b: 123. Synonymy by Crawford (1915:124); Linsley (1943: 133). Nomen nudem (see Linsley (1943; 133); Mitchell (1962: 488); Hurd and Linsley (1972: 34).

Neopasites (Neopasites) punctulatus Linsley, 1943a: 135 [♂]. Synonymy by Mitchell (1962: 488).

     Holotype ♂. USA, District of Columbia, Chevy Chase, 14 June 1916, by W.D. Pierce, on Erigeron ramosus [ANSP no. 5012].


Taxonomic Notes: Webb (1980: 110) recorded the month of capture of the lectotype of P. illinoensis Robertson as July (vii), though the original publication mentions August (Robertson 1891: 64).

Linsley (1943a: 133) and Hurd and Linsley (1972: 34) listed H. pratti (from Washington, District of Columbia) as a manuscript name attributed to Ashmead, though appearing in Crawford (1915b: 124) who also suggested the synonymy. This presumably is the “undescribed type” of the genus that Cockerell (1903: 452) examined and considered similar to H. pulchellus (Cresson) (see Hurd and Linsley 1972: 34).

Cooper (1993: 122) considered H. minimus (Linsley) a subspecies of H. illinoiensis (Robertson), though this synonymy is not reflected elsewhere (e.g., Ascher and Pickering 2022).


Biology: This species is a cleptoparasite in the nest of Calliopsis andreniformis (Robertson 1926; Shinn 1967; Hurd and Linsley 1972).


Distribution in Canada: Crawford 1912 [AB, as Neopasites illinoiensis Robertson]; Criddle et al. 1924 [AB, SK]; CNC [NB; need to verify].



Crawford JC (1915) The bee genus Holcopasites Ashmead. Insecutor Inscitiae Menstruus 3: 123-126.

Robertson C (1891) Descriptions of new species of North American bees. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 18(1): 49-66.

Robertson C (1926) Phenology of inquiline and nest-making bees. Psyche 33: 116-120.

Hurd PD, Linsley EG (1972) Parasitic bees of the genus Holcopasites Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoolology 114: 1-41.

Linsley EG (1943) A revision of the genus Neopasites (Hymenoptera: Nomadidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 69(2/3): 119-140.

Shinn AF (1967) A revision of the bee genus Calliopsis and the biology and ecology of C. andreniformis (Hymenoptera, Andrenidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 46(21): 753-936.

Cooper KW (1993) The first Holcopasites from western California, H. ruthae n. sp., and H. linsleyi, a new species from southwestern Arizona (Hymenoptera, Nomadinae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 95(1): 113-125.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alberta, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan
Ecozone: Atlantic Maritime, Prairie

Distribution Map