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Osmia subaustralis Cockerell, 1900


Scientific Name: Osmia subaustralis Cockerell, 1900

Common Name: Osmia subaustralis


Osmia (Melanosmia) nigrifrons var. subaustralis Cockerell, 1900: 410 [♀].

     Holotype ♀. USA, New Mexico, Beulah, 26 July [1899], by W. Porter [USNM no. 23334].

Osmia wardiana Cockerell, 1907: 368 [♀]. Synonymy by Sandhouse (1939: 28).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Colorado, Ward, at 9200 ft., July [no year provided], by W.P. Cockerell and T.D.A. Cockerell, on Senecio [USNM no. 23271].

Osmia seneciophila Cockerell, 1907: 466 [♂]. Synonymy by Sandhouse (1939: 28).

     Holotype ♂. USA, Colorado, Florissant, 26 June [1907], by S.A. Rohwer, on Senecia tridenticulata [USNM no. 27839].

Osmia nelsoni Cockerell, 1930: 411 [♀]. Synonymy by Rust (1974: 81).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Wyoming, University of Wyoming Camp, Medicine Bow Range, 9600 ft, August 1929, by T.D.A. Cockerell [CAS no. 4671].

Osmia wardiana austromontana Michener, 1936: 42 [♀]. Synonymy by Rust (1974: 81).

     Holotype ♀. USA, California, San Bernardino Mountains, Bluff Lake, 16 July 1934, by C.D. Michener [CAS no. 8767].

Osmia lyncis Cockerell, 1937: 109 [♀]. Synonymy by Michener (1951: 1164).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Arizona, White Mountains, Wildcat Creek, 12 June 1937, by G.H. Sperry and J.L. Sperry [CAS no. 4665].

Osmia (Cephalosmia) mendocinensis Sandhouse, 1939: 27 [♀]. Synonymy by Rust (1974: 81).

     Holotype ♀. USA, California, Mendocino County, Gualala [USNM no. 52870].

Osmia subaustralia Martin, 1964. Lapsus of Osmia subaustralis Cockerell, 1900.


Taxonomic Notes: Cockerell (1937: 109) indicated that his Osmia lyncis Cockerell was perhaps a variety of O. nelsoni Cockerell, but felt it was more robust and strongly punctured. Sandhouse (1939: 138) could not place O. nelsoni into any subgenus with certainty, indicating that the parallel-sided abdomen and wide gena were suggestive of Cephalosmia, but felt that the mandible shape was not characteristic to that subgenus. Michener (1949b: 55) placed O. nelsoni in the subgenus Nothosmia Ashmead (= Melanosmia Schmiedeknecht), and indicated it was similar to O. marginipennis Cresson, though ultimately allied it to O. subaustralis, indicating that it differed only in the structure of the hypostomal carinae; Rust (1974: 84) agreed that the hypostomal carina was atypical, but felt it belonged as a synonym.

Rust (1974: 82) incorrectly stated that the holotype of Osmia lyncis Cockerell was at the USNM.

Biology: Rust (1974) reported this species nesting in a dead fir log, in a pre-existing buprestid tunnel; masticated leaf material was used for cell partitions. Nest provisions were almost exclusively of the composit genus Senecio (Rust 1974).

Distribution in Canada: Sandhouse 1939 [BC]; Buckell 1950 [BC]; Pengelly, in McNally 1955 [ON]; Martin 1964 [ON]; Rust 1974 [NT, BC, AB, ON]; Elwell 2012 [BC]; Catling 2015 [ON]; Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB].


Cockerell TDA (1900) Observations on bees collected at Las Vegas, New Mexico, and in the adjacent Mountains. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7 5(29): 401-416.

Cockerell TDA (1907) Descriptions and records of bees.—XIII. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7 19(113): 361-370.

Gibbs J, Hanuschuk E, Miller R, Dubois M, Martini M, Robinson S, Nakagawa P, Sheffield CS, Onuferko T (2023) A checklist of the bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of Manitoba, Canada. The Canadian Entomologist 155: E3.

Sheffield CS, Heron JM (2019) The bees of British Columbia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes). Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 115: 44-85.

Michener CD (1951) Family Megachilidae. In: Muesebeck CF, Krombein KV, Townes HK (Eds) Hymenoptera of America north of Mexico Synoptic Catalog. 2. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Monograph, Washington. Pp. 1136-1186.

Michener CD (1936) Some western bees of the genus Osmia. The Canadian Entomologist 68(2): 39-43.

Buckell ER (1950) Record of bees from British Columbia: Megachilidae. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 46: 21-31.

McNally AG (1955) Exhibits at the Annual Meeting. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 89: 129.

Sandhouse GA (1939) The North American bees of the genus Osmia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington 1: 1-167.

Rust RW (1974) The systematics and biology of the genus Osmia, subgenera Osmia, Chalcosmia, and Cephalosmia (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The Wasmann Journal of Biology 32(1): 1-93.

Wong LH, Forrest JRK (2021) The earlier the better? Nesting timing and reproductive success in subalpine cavity-nesting bees. Journal of Animal Ecology 90(5): 1353-1366.

Cockerell TDA (1907) Descriptions and records of bees.—XVII. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7 20(119): 445-451.

Cockerell TDA (1937) Bees collected by Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Sperry and Mr. R. H. Andrews in Arizona. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 36(3): 107-110.

Martin JL (1964) The insect ecology of red pine plantations in central Ontario III. Soil-surface fauna as indicators of stand change. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Ontario 95: 87-102.

Michener CD (1949b) Records and descriptions of American megachilid bees (Hymenoptera). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 22(2): 41-59.

Cockerell TDA (1930) Descriptions and records of bees.—CXXIII. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 10 5(28): 405-411.

Catling PM (2015) Osmia species (Megachilidae) pollinate Cypripedium parviflorum (Orchidaceae) and Packera paupercula (Asteraceae): a localized case of Batesian mimicry? Canadian Field-Naturalist 129(1): 38–44.

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Cavity Renter
Pollen Specialization: Narrow Oligolecty
Wintering Stage: Adult

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Senecio sp.

Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec
Ecozone: Boreal Plains, Boreal Shield, Montane Cordillera, Taiga Shield