Scientific Name: Zacosmia maculata (Cresson, 1879)

Common Name: Zacosmia maculata


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

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

Zacosmia maculata desertorum Cockerell, 1916: 391 [♂‚]

     Holotype ♂‚. MEXICO, Chihuahua, Juarez, 12 May [no year provided], by T.D.A. Cockerell [?]

Melecta (Pseudomelecta?) suffusa Viereck, 1924:  [♀,♂‚] [synonymy by Hurd 1979: xx]

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


Species Notes

This species also likely occurs in British Columbia and Saskatchewan as it is a cleptoparasite of Anthophora peritomae Cockerell which occurs from southern British Columbia to Saskatchewan. Zacosmia maculata desertorum Cockerell is considered a valid subspecies, but has not been recorded from Canada.



Torchio (1971) studied the nesting biology of Anthophora peritomae 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).



Cockerell TDA (1916) Some California bees. The Canadian Entomologist 48 (11): 391-393. https://doi.org/10.4039/Ent48391-11

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. https://doi.org/10.2307/25076373

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

Hurd PD Jr (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.

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 cockerel (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. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25083713

Viereck HL (1924) Descriptions of two Canadian bees of the genus Melecta. The Canadian Entomologist 56(1): 15. https://doi.org/10.4039/Ent5615-1

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