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Zacosmia maculata maculata (Cresson, 1879)


Scientific Name: Zacosmia maculata maculata (Cresson, 1879)

Common Name: Spotted Mini-Digger Cuckoo Bee


Melecta maculata Cresson, 1879: 204 [♀, ♂].

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Cresson (1916: 122). USA, Nevada, by Morrison [ANSP no. 2293].

*Melecta (Pseudomelecta?) suffusa Viereck, 1924: 15 [♀, ♂]. Synonymy of M. maculata maculata Cresson, 1879 by Hurd (1979: 2172).

     Holotype ♀. CANADA, Alberta, Medicine Hat, 20 August 1916, by F.W.L. Sladen [CNC no. 653].


Taxonomic notes: Only the typical form occurs in Canada, with Zacosmia maculata desertorum Cockerell, 1916 occurring in Mexico and the southwestern USA (Cockerell 1916; Cockerell and Sandhouse 1924; Linsley 1939). Interestingly, Hurd (1953) did not mention this taxon is his treatment of melectine bees of Mexico, though at this time he treated Z. suffusa (Viereck, 1924) as a valid taxon.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAF4917

Biology: Torchio (1971) studied the nesting biology of Anthophora peritomae Cockerell, 1905 and recorded Z. maculata as a cleptoparasite. Hicks (1934) recorded it as a nest parasites of another MicranthophoraA. curta Cresson. Torchio and Youssef (1968) described the immature stages (first instar, mature larvae, and pupa) in association with the host Anthophora flexipes. Rozen (1969) also fully described the mature larva, indicating that it was the most hightly modified of all the melectine bees, particularly the pointed labrum. He later provided a detailed description of the first instar, and discussed the mode of parasitism (Rozen 1991).

The only likely host in Canada is Anthophora peritomae Cockerell, 1905.

Distribution in Canada: Viereck 1924 [AB, as M. suffusa Viereck, type locality]; Hurd and Linsley 1951 [AB, as M. suffusa Viereck]; Hurd 1953 [AB, as M. suffusa Viereck]; Sheffield et al. 2014 [AB].

This species has only been recorded from one location in southern Alberta in Canada (Viereck 1924), but also likely occurs in British Columbia and Saskatchewan as it is a cleptoparasite of Anthophora peritomae which occurs from southern British Columbia to Saskatchewan. 

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) in Canada ( N/A [known from one site in Canada]

Approximate Global Extent of Occurrence (EOO) ( XX km2

Index of Area of Occupancy (IAO) in Canada ( 4 km2


Cresson ET (1879) Descriptions of new North American Hymenoptera in the collection of the American Entomological Society. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 7: 201-214.

Viereck HL (1924) Descriptions of two Canadian bees of the genus Melecta. The Canadian Entomologist 56(1): 15.

Cockerell TDA (1916) Some California bees. The Canadian Entomologist 48(11): 391-393.

Hicks CH (1934) Some reared insect parasites and their hosts. University of Colorado Studies. 21: 265-271.

Rozen JG (1969) The larvae of the Anthophoridae (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) Part 3. The Melectini, Ericrocini, and Rhathymini. American Museum Novitates 2382: 1-24.

Rozen JG (1991) Evolution of cleptoparasitism in anthophorid bees as revealed by their mode of parasitism and first instars (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). American Museum Novitates 3029: 1-36.

Torchio PF (1971) The biology of Anthophora (Micranthophora) peritomae Cockerell (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Anthophoridae). Los Angeles Museum Contributions in Science 206: 1-14.

Torchio, PF, Youssef NN (1968) The biology of Anthophora (Micranthophora) flexipes and its cleptoparasite, Zacosmia maculata, including a description of the immature stages of the parasite. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 41(3): 289-302.

Hurd PD (1979) Introduction. Pgs. vii-xxx. In Krombein KV, Hurd PD Jr, Smith DR. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Volume 3. Indexes. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Aster sp., Chrysothamnus sp., Grindelia squarrosa, Euphorbia sp., Sphaeralcea sp., Salvia sp.

Distribution: Alberta
Ecozone: Prairie

Distribution Map