Fideliidae are long-tongued bees with a labrum that is longer than broad. The mandibles contain many teeth and anre not wide and the forewings have three submarginal cells. These bees do not carry pollen on their hind legs (Finnamore & Michener 1993). The family had about 18 species identified by 2011, and it is sometimes placed in the Megachilidae. They nest in soil burrows and do not supply them with debris. Three genera occur only southern Africa, Morocco, and central Chile (Finnamore & Michener 1993).
This is a small family of desert mining bees, which resemble Megachilidae due to an abdominal pollen scopa, but differ from them in having such structures also on their hind legs. They also have some primitive characters. There are three submarginal cells in the fore wing, and the female has pygidial and basitibial plates. Brood cells are unlined. The family has a peculiar distribution, with one genus, Neofidelia, occurring in the southern Atacama Desert of Chile; and two genera, Fidelia and Parafidelia, in southern Africa. One species of Fidelia also occurs in northern Africa. There are fewer than 20 species in three genera.
= = = = = = = = = =
Michener, C. D. & A. Fraser. 1978. A comparative anatomical study of mandibular structure in bees. Univ. Of Kansas Sci. Bull 51: 463-482.
Michener, C. D. 1979. Biogeography of the Bees. 1979. Ann. Missouri Botanical Garden 66: 277-347.
Thorp, R. W. 1979. Structural, behavioral & physiological adaptations of bees (Apoidea) for collecting pollen. Ann. Missouri Botanical Garden 66: 788-812.