Cedar Creek
Ecosystem Science Reserve

Insects of Cedar Creek



(Cuckoo & Carpenter Bees)

(Table of Species)

Anthophorid Bees (920 NA spp) are most diverse in the western U.S. Three distinctive subfamilies are recognized: Nomadinae (Cuckoo Bees), Anthophorinae (Digger Bees), and Xylocopinae (Carpenter Bees). All three subfamilies and perhaps 25 species have been collected at Cedar Creek.

The most commonly encountered Cuckoo Bees are species of Nomada (cressonii, illinoensis, pygmaea, cuneata, maculata, rubicunda, lepida, graenicheri). These species are kleptoparasitic in the nests of other bees (primarily Andrenids and Anthophorids). They are hairless red and black species that are commonly seen on the ground searching for nests or on flowers (eg. Rubus, Solidago). N. maculata is perhaps the most commonly encountered. Infrequently collected kleptoparasites are species of Epeolus (scutellaris, ++) and Triepeolus. Members of these genera are gray with appressed golden tomentum.

The most commonly encountered Digger Bees are species of Melissodes(agilis, bimaculata, trinodis, subillata, dentiventris, desponsa, coreopsis, rustica). M. rustica and M. agilis are the most common. Considerable sexual dimorphism exists in this genus. Flight seasons are relatively short, but most species appear polylectic. Anthophora furcata-terminalis, and Synhalonia hamata (morning glory) are infrequently collected.

No large Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa spp) have been collected at Cedar Creek, though this genus does occur in Minnesota. Ceratina(calcarata, dupla) are small green carpenter bees routinely encountered at flowers in savanna regions throughout much of the summer.

webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu Last updated May, 2000