Pierre RasmontAtlas of the European Bees: genus Amegilla
First on line 29.VIII.2014, updated 5.XI.2014, 19.II.2016
The genus Amegilla
includes around 260 species all over the world. It includes 36 species in West-Palaearctic region.
Like other Anthophorini, Amegilla
are all solitary species, most of them digging their simple nest in dry ground, giving their English name "digger bees". While some Anthophora
could be sometimes seen in woody areas, Amegilla
are clearly associated with arid or subarid biomes, matorrals, steppes, sub-deserts and deserts. Very few species cross the 45th parallell to the north and only in very isolated places.
, they are foraging mainly flowers with long corollae, as Boraginaceae, Lamiaceae, Leguminosae, Scophulariaceae and Compositae from the Carduae tribe (thistles).
All species are very fast flyers. Some taxa are nearly impossible to catch because of their incredible agility. For these reasons, it is clear that their abundance and distribution remain underestimated. Beside, some species are not easy to identify. A lot of taxa are known just by few specimens.
Because of their relative scarcity in collection and their shape and colour homogeneity, their taxonomy remains quite confuse. Amegilla
have been included in Anthophora
during long time. As fundament, one should use the revision of Friese (1897) (under the name Podalirius
) and Brooks (1988). This last one only dealing with a detailed generic and subgeneric classification. Several other papers could help: Priesner (1957) for Egypt and adjacent countries mainly N. Africa (under the name Anthophora
), Iuga (1958) for Romania and adjacent countries, Osychnyuk (1978) for the European part of former USSR, Herrero & Pérez-Iñigo (1982) for Iberian peninsula. As for Anthophora
, one cannot avoid to consult a bunch of small other papers to assume the identification of some species.
The genus Podalirius
, as promoted by Friese (1897) was lumping alltogether Amegilla
. I stick here instead with the generic and subgeneric classification of Brooks (1988) and Michener (2001, 2007). The West-Palaearctic tribe Anthophorini includes so the genera Amegilla
(that Brooks placed in a separate tribe).
This first very provisional version only includes the full checklist of West-Palaearctic species and maps that just point out countries. For some species, it also display very preliminary detailed maps.
Because of the extreme difficulty to approach Amegilla
, there are very few photographs of living specimens available.Acknowledgements
This page is constructed in the framework of the STEP project - Status and Trends of European Pollinators - Coordinator: Simon Geoffrey Potts, University of Reading.
STEP Partners to Objective 1 (Document the status and trends of pollinators, map distributions): University of Mons (Prof. Pierre Rasmont; Denis Michez; Stephanie Iserbyt; Yvan Barbier); University of Reading (Stuart Roberts)
Many thanks to Manu Dehon for his help.
Citation:Rasmont P. 2014. Atlas of the European Bees: genus Amegilla
. 1st Edition. STEP Project, Atlas Hymenoptera, Mons, Gembloux. http://www.atlashymenoptera.net/page.aspx?ID=259
Amegilla (present page)AnthophoraHabropoda