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Sphecodes dichrous Smith, 1853


Scientific Name: Sphecodes dichrous Smith, 1853

Common Name: Sphecodes dichrous


Sphecodes dichroa Smith, 1853: 38 [♀, not ♂].

     Holotype ♀. USA [Georgia], by E. Doubleday [BMNH no. 17.a.553].

Sphecodes dichrous Sichel, 1865: 461 [♀, not ♂]. Emended name.

Sphecodes arvensis Patton, 1880: 230 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy by T.B. Mitchell, in Krombein (1958: 231).

     Syntypes ♀, ♂. USA [Museum für Naturkunde Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Berlin].

Sphecodes dichora Brodie and White, 1883: 3. Lapsus of Sphecodes dichroa Smith, 1853.

*Halictus scabrosus Provancher, 1882: 200 [♂]. Synonymy by Sheffield and Perron (2014: 133).

     Lectotype ♂ [designated by Sheffield and Perron 2014: 133]. CANADA, Quebec, Chicoutimi [ULQC].

Sphecodes knetschi Cockerell, 1898: [♀, ♂]. Synonymy by Gibbs et al. (2017: 95).

     Syntypes ♀, ♂. USA. Illinois, Terra Cotta, 5 September 1897 [♀], 25 August 1897 [♂], by R. Knetsch [USNM no. 18976, type ♀].

Sphecodes lautus Lovell and Cockerell, 1907: 103 [♀]. Synonymy by T.B. Mitchell, in Krombein (1958: 231).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Maine, Waldoboro, 4 August 1901, by J.H. Lovell, on Spiraea salicifolia [USNM no. 71590].

Sphecodes (Sphecodes) macfarlandi Viereck, 1909: 292 [♀]. Synonymy by T.B. Mitchell, in Krombein (1958: 231).

     Holotype ♀. USA, New Hamsphire, Nelson, by J. McFarland [USNM no. 12276].


Taxonomic Notes: Smith (1853: 38), though given credit for naming S. dichrous, cites the species as “S. dichroa, Harris’s Catalogue”, indicating that the name first appeared in Harris’s Catalogue of Animals in Massachusetts (Harris 1835: 70; as Andrena (Sphecodes. Latr.) dichroa); Sichel (1865: 461) commented on Smith’s numerous references to the Harris Catalogue, particularly his lack of proper citation to the full work and pagination each name appears on, and credits the name separately to Harris’s Catalogue, and Smith’s (1853) work. However, a description of the species and type material were provided only for Smith’s taxon, not Harris’s.

Rohwer (1920) addressed some of Harris’s hymenopteran species, particularly his sawflies, indicating that most remained nominia nuda (or nomen tantum), though indicated that Harris later did describe a few of his species (mainly some of those of economic importance), and that a Harris collection did exist (T.W. Harris collection, the oldest intact synoptic collection in North America, at MCZ). Rohwer also indicated that many of the names (at least for sawflies) used by Harris were provided by Thomas Say as manuscript names. Though Smith’s (1853) original description indicates the specimens were from the United States, there is no indication that Smith was naming material provided by Harris. In fact, Smith’s (1853) original description of S. dichroa indicates that the specimens were from the United States, but the female is labelled Georgia (not Massachusetts, which presumably would be the type locality of Harris’s taxon). Without type material, it cannot be confirmed that Harris’s taxon is even the same as Smith’s. In addition, Lovel and Cockerell (1907: 102) indicated that the male described by Smith (1853) was not this species and described the actual male, this accepted by Moure and Hurd (1987: 149). Assumming that Smith’s (1853) specimen at the BMNH [BMNH no. 17.a.553] is the only female, it is here designated as the lectotype to stabilize the taxonomy; Gibbs et al. (2017: 95) recognized the male as part of the syntype series despite it not being that species.

Covell (1972: 16) incorrectly spells Waldoboro [Maine] as Waldeboro for the type location of S. lautus Lovell and Cockerell.

Though Robertson (1897: 316) recorded S. arvensis Patton as a synonym of S. dichrous, he later (e.g., Robertson 1903: 106, 1910: 326, 1930: 335) treated it as a valid species, as did others (e.g., Dalla Torre 1896: 2; Felt 1902: 867; Cockerell 1904: 5, 1904: 232, Lovell and Cockerell 1907: 107, 1911: 390; Viereck 1910: 689, 1916: 708; Lovell 1911: 213; Meyer 1919: 162; Michener 1951: 1120). Meyer (1919), likely following Lovell and Cockerell (1907: 107) suggested that Robertson presumably misidentified it as S. dichrous. Thus, Mitchell (in Krombein 1958: 231) is credited for the synonymy.

Robertson (1897: 316), Lovell and Cockerell (1907: 108) and Meyer (1919: 161) recorded H. scabrosus Provancher as a synonym of S. dichrous, though Mitchell (1960: 486) questioned this (followed by Hurd 1979: and Moure and Hurd 1987: ). Sheffield and Perron (2014: 133) examined Provancher’s type material and confirmed the earlier synonymy.

Distribution in Canada: Provancher 1882 [QC, and as H. scabrosus Provancher, type locality]; Brodie and White 1883 [Canada, as S. dichora Smith]; Harrington 1894 [ON]; Gibson 1914 [ON]; Criddle et al. 1924 [ON, QC, as S. lautus Lovell and Cockerell]; Mitchell 1960 [NS]; Sheffield et al. 2003, 2009 [NS]; Gibbs et al. 2022 [MB]. BOLD [AB, SK, ON, NS]; Discover Life [NB, PE]


Sociality: Parasitic
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Not Applicable

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan
Ecozone: Atlantic Maritime, Boreal Shield, Mixwood Plains, Prairie