Anthidium

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Anthidium
Temporal range: Priabonian to Recent
Anthidium February 2008-1.jpg
Anthidium florentinum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Anthidiini
Genus: Anthidium
Fabricius, 1805

Anthidium is a genus of bees often called mason or potter bees, who use conifer resin, plant hairs, mud, or a mix of them to build nests. They are in the family Megachilidae which is cosmopolitan in distribution and made up of species that are mostly solitary bees with pollen-carrying scopea that are only located on the ventral surface of the abdomen. Other bee families have the pollen-carrying structures on the hind legs. Typically species of Anthidium feed on pollen and nectar from plants, though some species are robber bees that take food from other bees. Anthidium florentinum bees are distinguished from most its relatives by yellow or brick-red thoracic bands. They fly all summer and make the nests in holes in the ground, walls or trees, with hairs plucked from plants.

Most Anthidium species are leaf-cutting bees who use conifer resin, plant hairs, earth, or a combination of these as material for the nest walls. Their abdominal bands are usually interrupted in the middle. There is no lobe (arolium) between their claws. Anthidium manicatum is commonly known as the wool carder bee which uses comblike mandibles to "comb" plant fibers into its brood cell walls. It has spread from Europe to North and South America. The males are much larger (ca. 18 mm) than the females (ca.12 mm) which is not uncommon among Megachilidae, but very rare among other bee families (e.g., the true honey bees, genus Apis). The males also have three "thorns" at their abdominal apex which they use as weapons when defending their territory.

Species[edit]

The following is an incomplete list of species and four species have been described from the fossil record. The oldest species date from the Priabonian to Rupelian deposits of the Florissant Formation, Colorado.[1][2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Anthidium Fabricius - Discover Life
  2. ^ a b c d e Engel, M.S.; Perkovsky, E.E. (2006). "An Eocene Bee in Rovno Amber, Ukraine (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)". American Museum Novitates 3506: 1–11. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2006)506[0001:AEBIRA]2.0.CO;2. 

References[edit]

  • Chinery, Michael - Insects of Britain and Western Europe. Domino Guides, A & C Black, London, 1986

External links[edit]