|Epeoloides coecutiens ♀|
|Tribe:|| Osirini |
The Osirini are a tribe of cleptoparasitic apid bees, all but one genus exclusively from the Neotropics, and laying their eggs in the nests of bees in the apid tribe Tapinotaspidini; the one exceptional genus is Epeoloides , which has one North American species and one European species, both of which attack the melittid genus Macropis .
All species in this tribe are unique among the bees in the possession of a tiny sclerite embedded in the membrane beneath the head, possibly to help guard against being stung in the neck by an angry host bee when invading a nest.
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the western honey bee, for producing honey. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea. They are presently considered a clade, called Anthophila. There are over 16,000 known species of bees in seven recognized biological families. Some species – including honey bees, bumblebees, and stingless bees – live socially in colonies while some species – including mason bees, carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, and sweat bees – are solitary.
Apidae is the largest family within the superfamily Apoidea, containing at least 5700 species of bees. The family includes some of the most commonly seen bees, including bumblebees and honey bees, but also includes stingless bees, carpenter bees, orchid bees, cuckoo bees, and a number of other less widely known groups. Many are valuable pollinators in natural habitats and for agricultural crops.
Megachilidae is a cosmopolitan family of mostly solitary bees whose pollen-carrying structure is restricted to the ventral surface of the abdomen. Megachilid genera are most commonly known as mason bees and leafcutter bees, reflecting the materials from which they build their nest cells ; a few collect plant or animal hairs and fibers, and are called carder bees, while others use plant resins in nest construction and are correspondingly called resin bees. All species feed on nectar and pollen, but a few are kleptoparasites, feeding on pollen collected by other megachilid bees. Parasitic species do not possess scopae. The motion of Megachilidae in the reproductive structures of flowers is energetic and swimming-like; this agitation releases large amounts of pollen.
Halictidae is the second-largest family of Anthophila bees. Halictid species occur all over the world and are usually dark-colored and often metallic in appearance. Several species are all or partly green and a few are red; a number of them have yellow markings, especially the males, which commonly have yellow faces, a pattern widespread among the various families of bees. The family is distinguished by the arcuate basal vein found on the wing.
The subfamily Xylocopinae occurs worldwide, and includes the large carpenter bees, the small carpenter bees, the allodapine bees, and the relictual genus Manuelia.
The genus Epicharis contains fewer than 40 species of large apid bees occurring in the Neotropics, most of which possess adaptations for carrying floral oils rather than pollen or nectar. The floral oils are typically gathered from plants of the family Malpighiaceae, though other plants may be visited. They also commonly gather plant resins for use in nest cell construction. Recent studies have shown they are sister to the clade formed by corbiculate bees plus Centris They are large bees, generally with a black head and mesosoma, and the metasoma is often red, and/or has bright yellow spots or bands. They are distinguished from the closely related genus Centris by two sets of three long, whip-like setae that project backwards from just behind the eyes.
The term cuckoo bee is used for a variety of different bee lineages which have evolved the brood parasitism behaviour of laying their eggs in the nests of other bees, reminiscent of the behavior of cuckoo birds. The name is perhaps best applied to the apid subfamily Nomadinae, but is commonly used in Europe to mean bumblebees Bombus subgenus Psithyrus. Females of cuckoo bees are easy to recognize in almost all cases, as they lack pollen collecting structures and do not construct their own nests. They often have reduced body hair, abnormally thick and/or heavily sculptured exoskeleton, and saber-like mandibles, although this is not universally true; other less visible changes are also common.
The Polistinae is a subfamily of eusocial wasps belonging to the family Vespidae. They are closely related to the more familiar wasps and true hornets of the subfamily Vespinae, containing four tribes. With about 1,100 species total, it is the second-most diverse subfamily within the Vespidae, and while most species are tropical or subtropical, they include some of the most frequently encountered large wasps in temperate regions.
The Colletidae are a family of bees, and are often referred to collectively as plasterer bees or polyester bees, due to the method of smoothing the walls of their nest cells with secretions applied with their mouthparts; these secretions dry into a cellophane-like lining. The five subfamilies, 54 genera, and over 2000 species are all evidently solitary, though many nest in aggregations. Two of the subfamilies, Euryglossinae and Hylaeinae, lack the external pollen-carrying apparatus that otherwise characterizes most bees, and instead carry the pollen in their crops. These groups, and most genera in this family, have liquid or semiliquid pollen masses on which the larvae develop.
Nomadinae is a subfamily of bees in the family Apidae. They are known commonly as cuckoo bees.
The Centridini are a tribe of large apid bees, many of which possess adaptations for carrying floral oils rather than pollen or nectar. The floral oils are often gathered from plants of the family Malpighiaceae, though other plants may be visited. The oil-collecting species typically have "combs" composed of closely spaced, flattened, blunt bristles on the margins of the first tarsal segments of the front and middle legs; others may have velvety "pads" to absorb the oils. They also commonly gather plant resins for use in nest cell construction. They have a tiny pterostigma in the forewing, the female scopa is very bushy, and the first flagellomere of the antenna is often longer than the scape.
Apis nigrocincta is a species of honey bee that inhabits the Philippine island of Mindanao as well as the Indonesian islands of Sangihe and Sulawesi. The species is known to have queens with the highest mating frequencies of any species of the tribe Apini.
The Bombini are a tribe of large bristly apid bees which feed on pollen or nectar. Many species are social, forming nests of up to a few hundred individuals; other species, formerly classified as Psithyrus cuckoo bees, are brood parasites of nest-making species. The tribe contains a single living genus, Bombus, the bumblebees, and some extinct genera such as Calyptapis and Oligobombus. The tribe was described by Pierre André Latreille in 1802.
Mass provisioning is a form of parental investment in which an adult insect, most commonly a hymenopteran such as a bee or wasp, stocks all the food for each of her offspring in a small chamber before she lays the egg. This behavior is common in both solitary and eusocial bees, though essentially absent in eusocial wasps.
The cleptoparasitic bee genus Osiris is a rare group of apid bees from the Neotropics, that lay their eggs in the nests of bees in the related tribe Tapinotaspidini, such as Paratetrapedia. Most of the known species are pale yellowish, smooth and shining, and very wasp-like in appearance.
The genus Tetrapedia contains approximately 13 species of small apid bees occurring in the Neotropics, and they are unusual in possessing adaptations for carrying floral oils rather than pollen or nectar. The floral oils are typically gathered from plants of the family Malpighiaceae, though other plants may be visited. They also apparently gather plant resins for use in nest cell construction, sometimes mixed with sand.
The Protepeolini are a tribe of apid bees. The tribe contains only one genus, Leiopodus.
Augochloropsis is a genus of brilliant metallic, often blue-green, sweat bees in the family Halictidae. There are at least 140 described species in Augochloropsis.
Roubikia is a genus of bee-associated mites occurring in the neotropics. They are mutualists or commensals, and feed on fatty acids from floral oils and most likely on fungi. The type species is Chaetodactylus panamensis.
Thyreus denolli is an African species of kleptoparisitic bee. It belongs to the tribe Melectini and to the genus Thyreus, the members of which are often referred to as 'Cuckoo bees', due to their parasitic behaviour. It is one of the most distinctive Thyreus bees in Cape Verde.
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