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Melecta thoracica Cresson, 1875


Scientific Name: Melecta thoracica Cresson, 1875

Common Name: Melecta thoracica


Melecta thoracica Cresson, 1875: 726 [♀].

     Holotype . USA, Nevada, eastern Nevada [Colorado?], 1872, by H.C. Yarrow [ANSP no. 2286].

Melecta (Melecta) sierrae Linsley, 1939a: 437 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy by Hurd and Linsley (1951: 126).

     Holotype . USA, California, Lake Tahoe, 16 June 1933, by E.G. Linsley [CAS no. 4771].


Taxonomic Notes: Though Cresson (1875: 726) indicated a type location of “eastern Nevada” for the single specimen of M. thoracica, he later (Cresson 1916: 132) indicated “Colorado” (for ANSP no. 2286), which suggests that the type locality originally recorded by Cresson (1875) is incorrect (presumably the opinion of Hurd and Linsley (1951: 126)), or that the type material is lost, as was indicated as a possibility by Linsley (1945: 153); Linsley (1939: 437) seemed dubious of this species occurring in Colorado (citing the record of Ashmead 1890). Linsley (1945: 153) provided label information for specimen ANSP no. 2286, but no year was indicated, suggesting that this was not the type, but further searching at the USNM did not reveal a specimen from Nevada (C.F.W. Muesbeck, as cited by Linsley 1945: 153).

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAD8523

All Canada material share this DNA barcode, though material from the USA (UT) have been assigned BIN BOLD:AAD8522.

Biology: This species was reported as a cleptoparasite of Habropoda cineraria by Hurd and Linsley (1951).

Distribution in Canada: Harrington 1902 [BC]; Elwell 2012 [BC]; Sheffield et al. 2014 [AB]; Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC]; RSKM [SK].


Ashmead WH (1890) On the Hymenoptera of Colorado; descriptions of new species, notes, and a list of the species found in the state. Bulletin of the Colorado Biological Association 1: 3-46.

Cresson ET (1875) Report upon the collections of Hymenoptera made in portions of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, during the years 1872, 1873, and 1874, with list of Formicidae by Edward Norton. Report upon Geographical and Geological Exploration and Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian 5: 707-736.

Cresson ET (1916) The Cresson types of Hymenoptera. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 1: 1-141.

Hurd PD, Linsley EG (1951) The melectine bees of California (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 1(5): 119-140.

Linsley EG (1939) A revision of the Nearctic Melectinae. Annals of the Entomologcal Society of America 32(2): 429-468.

Linsley EG (1945) A new species of Paranomada with notes on Melecta thoracica Cresson. Entomological News 56: 149-153.

Sociality: Parasitic
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Not Applicable
Wintering Stage: Adult

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan
Ecozone: Montane Cordillera, Prairie, Western Interior Basin