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     HYMENOPTERA, APOIDEA (Nomadinae) --  <Images> & <Juveniles>


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Nomadinae (previously under Anthophoridae).-- =  Link 2


         These are the cuckoo bees, which are parasites in the nests of other bees.  They resemble wasps in that their bodies are relatively free of hairs.  Clausen (1940) considered Nomadidae under the Apoidea.  The members of the family are mostly inquilines in the nests of various solitary bees.  Graenicher (1905b) presented an account of these insects as an inquiline in the nests of   robber flies.  The egg of Triepoelus is thought to be laid in the food material.  The abdominal segments bear a flat triangular projection at each lateral margin.  The very large falcate mandibles are thought to be for use against larvae of their own kind rather than against that of the host bee.  Perkins (1919) reviewed the host preferences of a large number of species and found each of them to be closely associated with a particular solitary bee species.


          This is a diverse group of cleptoparasitic "cuckoo bees" with 32 genera.  They are cosmopolitan, and attack many different kinds of bees , which they use as hosts. As parasitoids, they lack a pollen-carrying scopa, and are usually wasp-like in appearance.  Females enter the host nests when the host is not present.  They deposit their eggs in the wall of the host cell, and the larval parasitoid emerges after the cell has been closed by the host female.  The host larva is then killed. The first-instar larvae are adapted for this with their long mandibles that are deployed for killing.  The mandibles lost after the first instar. Then the larva feeds on the nectar and pollen stores. Some species have been observed to remain quiescent while holding onto the plant with their mandibles.


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References:   Please refer to  <biology.ref.htm>, [Additional references may be found at:  MELVYL Library]


Engel M.S.  2005.   Famiglia-Group Names for Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., NY:  3476:  33p, 1 Table.


Michener, C. D.  2000. The Bees of the World, Johns Hopkins University Press.  913 p.