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Osmia texana Cresson, 1872


Scientific Name: Osmia texana Cresson, 1872

Common Name: Texas Mason Bee


Osmia texana Cresson, 1872: 261 [♂].

     Holotype ♂. USA, Texas, by Belfrage [USNM no 1751].

Osmia mandibularis Cresson, 1878: 102 [♀]. Synonymy by Sandhouse (1939: 20).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Colorado, by Morrison [ANSP no. 2512].

Osmia faceta Cresson, 1878: 103 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy by Sandhouse (1939: 20).

     Lectotype ♀. USA, New York [ANSP no. 2515].

Osmia Davidsoniella Cockerell, 1905: 370 [♂]. Synonymy by Sandhouse (1939: 20).

     Holotype ♂. USA, California, Los Angeles, by Davidson [USNM no. 14479].


Taxonomic Notes: Sandhouse (1939: 21) indicated that females of this species exhibit great variation in the shape of the mandibular process, which may be the reason why Cresson (1878: 103) was not able to associate the females of his O. faceta Cresson with that of O. mandibularis Cresson, described on the preceeding page; this may be related to body size as the female of O. faceta was reported as 0.45 inch (11.4 mm), significantly smaller than O. mandibularis at 0.65 inch (16.5 mm). Rust (1974: 53) supported this claim and indicated that such variation exists across the range of the species.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:ABX5180

Biology: This species nests in clay banks in the abandoned nests of Anthophora occidentalis Cresson (Hicks 1926, as O. mandibularis Cresson; Mickel 1928, as O. mandibularis Cresson; Hobbs et al. 1961; Rust 1974), but will also use trap nests makde from elderberry stems. Masticated leaf material is used for nest construction, populations near Lethbridge, AB using Sphaeralcea coccinea. Hobbs et al. (1961) provide photographs of a nest cell excavated initially by A. occidentalis, but partitioned by O. texana.

Grissell (2007) reported two species of Monodontomerus (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea, Torymidae) as a nest parasite of O. texana, M. bakeri Gahan and M. montivagus Ashmead, both known from Canada. The meloid beetles (Coleoptera: Meloidae) Tricrania standburyi (Haldeman) and a species of Nemognatha have also been reported as nest parasites by Bohart and Selander (1955).

Distribution in Canada: Cresson 1878b [Canada, as O. faceta Cresson]; Provancher 1888 [QC, as O. faceta Cresson]; Gibson 1917 [AB, as O. chalybea var. mandibularis Cresson; ON, as O. chalybea var. faceta Cresson; possibly O. georgica]; Sandhouse 1925b [AB, as O. mandibularis Cresson], 1939 [BC, AB]; Cockerell 1936 [AB, as O. mandibularis Cresson]; Buckell 1950 [BC]; Hobbs et al. 1916 [AB]; Mitchell 1962 [BC]; Rust 1974 [BC, AB]; Elwell 2012 [BC]; Sheffield and Perron 2014 [QC]; Sheffield et al. 2014 [AB, SK]; Taylor 2014 [ON]; Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC]. 

Though this species was not recorded from MB by Gibbs et al. (2023), the presence of both Anthophora occidentalis and A. bomboides Kirby in that province likely support its presence there.

Body length: ♀ 10 - 14 mm ♂ 9 - 11 mm

Forewing length: ♀ 7 - 10 mm ♂ 5.5 - 7.5 mm


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

Cresson ET (1878) Descriptions of new North American Hymenoptera in the collection of the American Entomological Society. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 7: 61-136.

Provancher L (1888) Additions et Corrections au Volume II de la Faune Entomologique du Canada Traitant des Hyménoptères. Quebec, Darveau.

Cockerell TDA (1905) New bees of the genera Osmia and Andrena. The Canadian Entomologist 37(11): 370-372.

Cockerell TDA (1936) The bees of Alberta.—I. The Canadian Entomologist 68(12): 274-277.

Mitchell TB (1962) Bees of the Eastern United States. Volume 2. North Carolina Agricultural Experimental Station Technical Bulletin 152, Raleigh, 557 pp.

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

Sheffield CS, Frier SD, Dumesh D (2014) The bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes) of the Prairies Ecozone, with comparisons to other grasslands of Canada. In: Giberson DJ, Cárcamo HA (Eds) Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands (Volume 4): Biodiversity and Systematics Part 2. 4. Biological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, 479 pp. [ISBN 978-0-9689321-7-9].

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

Gibson A (1917) The entomological record, 1916. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 47: 137-171.

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

Hicks CH (1926) Nesting habits and parasites of certain bees of Boulder County, Colorado. University of Colorado Bulletin 15: 217-252.

Hobbs GA, Nummi WO, Virostek JF (1961) Anthophora occidentalis Cress. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and its associates at a nesting site in southern Alberta. The Canadian Entomologist 93(2): 142-148.

Mickel CE (1928) The biotic factors in the environmental resistance of Anthophora occidentalis Cress. (Hym.: Apidae: Dip., Coleop.). Entomological News 39(3): 69-78.

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.

Grissell EE (2007) Torymidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) associated with bees (Apoidea), with a list of chalcidoid bee parasitoids. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 16(2): 234-265.

Bohart GE, Selander RB (1955) New records of Hornia minutipennis Riley, with notes on its biology (Coleoptera, Meloidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 57(3): 121-130.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan
Ecozone: Mixwood Plains, Prairie, Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map