Pierre RasmontAtlas of the European Bees: genus Anthophora
First on line 29.VIII.2014, updated 5.XI.2014, 19.II.2016Anthophora
is a large genus that includes around 400 species all over the world. 178 species are presently known for West-Palaearctic region.
They are all solitary species, most of them digging their simple nest in dry ground, giving their English name "digger bees". They are specially abundant and diversified in arid or subarid biomes, e.g. in steppes and Mediterranean biota. Very few species cross the 50th parallell to the north and only two reach the Arctic Circle.
They are foraging mainly flowers with long corollae, as Boraginaceae, Lamiaceae, Leguminosae, Scophulariaceae and Compositae from the Carduae tribe (thistles).
All species are fast flyers. Some taxa are incredibly agile. For these reasons, they could be extremely difficult to sample. It leads to a clear underestimated abundance and distribution of most species. A lot of taxa are known just by their type-serie and few supplementary specimens.
Because of their relative scarcity in collection, their taxonomy remains quite confuse. One cannot study the West-Palaearctic Anthophora without the two main revisions of Friese (1897) and Brooks (1988). This last one only dealing with a usefull subgeneric classification. Several other papers could help: Priesner (1957) for Egypt and adjacent countries mainly N. Africa, Iuga (1958) for Romania and adjacent countries, Osychnyuk (1978) for the European part of former USSR, Herrero & Pérez-Iñigo (1982) for Iberian peninsula. 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). It also means that the genera Clisodon
, and Paramegilla
, separated by several authors (e.g. Osychnyuk 1978, Herrero & Perez-Inigo 1982) are included here in Anthophora
as subgenera (Solamegilla
being considered as synonym of the subgenus Paramegilla
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 Anthophora
, 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 Anthophora
. 1st Edition. STEP Project, Atlas Hymenoptera, Mons, Gembloux. http://www.atlashymenoptera.net/page.aspx?ID=260
Anthophora (present page)Habropoda