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Triepeolus subalpinus Cockerell, 1910


Scientific Name: Triepeolus subalpinus Cockerell, 1910

Common Name: Subalpine Longhorn Cuckoo Bee


Triepeolus subalpinus Cockerell, 1910: 245 [♀].

     Holotype ♀. USA, Colorado, Boulder County, Eldora, 18-19 August [no year provided], by T.D.A. Cockerell, on Grindelia (subalpina) [USNM no. 100037].

Triepeolus lestes Cockerell, 1921: 11 [♀]. Synonymy by Rightmyer (2008: 117).

     Holotype ♀. USA, Colorado, Garfield County, Glenwood Springs, about 39 33’N 107 20’W, 5800 ft., 22–29 July 1919 [ANMH no. 25093].

*Triepeolus stricklandi Cockerell, 1937: 86 [♀]. Synonymy by Rightmyer (2008: 117).

     Holotype ♀. CANADA, Alberta, Lethbridge, 5 August 1935, by E.C. Strickland [CNC no. 4172].


Taxonomic notes: The ♂ was briefly described by Rightmyer (2008: 117).

This species is extremely similar to Triepeolus brittaini Cockerell 1931, but this species has the paramedian band present on the mesoscutum in both sexes, and the metasomal banding is broader and the mesepisternal punctation is denser than in T. brittaini (Rightmyer 2008).

The species epithet subalpinus and common name “Subalpine” used for this species actually comes from the plant it was collected on, Grindelia subalpine which Cockerell (1910: 244) indicated was the best late season bee-plant in Eldora, Colorado.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAE8463

This BIN is shared with Triepeolus brittaini Cockerell 1931 and Triepeolus texanus (Cresson, 1878).

Biology: This presumed host of this species was speculated to be Melissodesagilis Cresson, as adults of both species were collected on the same flowers (Hurd et al. 1980).

Distribution in Canada: Criddle et al. 1924 [BC, AB, as Triepeolus lestes Cockerell]; Cockerell 1937iii [AB]; Rightmyer 2008 [AB, SK]; Sheffield et al. 2014 [AB, SK]; Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB]

In Canada, this species has a distinctly western distribution, while T. brittaini is globally restricted to the Maritime provinces.

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) in Canada ( km2

Index of Area of Occupancy (IAO) in Canada ( km2


Cockerell TDA (1937) The bees of Alberta.—III. The Canadian Entomologist 69(4): 86-89.

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].

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.

Criddle N, Curran CH, Viereck HL, Buckell ER (1924) The entomological record, 1923. Annual Report of the Entomological Society of Ontario 54: 87-102.

Cockerell TDA (1921) The epeoline bees of the American Museum Rocky Mountain expeditions. American Museum Novitates 23: 1–16.

Rightmyer MG (2008) A review of the cleptoparasitic bee genus Triepeolus (Hymenoptera: Apidae).—Part I. Zootaxa 1710: 1-170.

Cockerell TDA (1910) Some bees from Eldora, Colorado. Psyche 17: 244-247.

Hurd PD, LaBerge WE, Linsley EG (1980) Principal sunflower bees of North America with an emphasis on the southwestern United States (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 310: 1-158.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Chrysothamnus sp., Grindelia squarrosa, Helianthus petiolaris, Helianthus sp., Heterotheca villosa, Epilobium brachycarpum

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

Distribution Map