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Xylocopa (Koptortosoma) pubescens
Spinola, 1838
Auteurs(s) : Terzo & Rasmont
= Xylocopa aestuans auct. nec L. 1758

There has been a taxonomic confusion about this species and the closely related X. aestuans (L. 1758). It has been clarified by Lieftinck (1964). The taxon living in the Palaearctic region is indeed X. pubescens while the true X. aestuans only lives in the Oriental region (Indochina, Indonesia, Sunda Archipelago).

X. pubescens is the only species of the West-Palaearctic belonging to the subg. Koptortosoma. In this group, there is a strong sexual dimorphism. While the female of X. pubescens is black with bright yellow fur on thorax, the male is entirely covered with a short apprimed greenish pilosity.

Friese (1896) cited X. pubescens from Dalmatie (Croatia) but it has never been confirmed despite that the species is very conspicuous.
Xylocopa pubescens has recently been observed for the first time on Greece's mainland, in the surroundings of Athene. (Lavrion, 28.IX.2012, photographied by Mark Eising, www.markeisingbirding.nl).
Several more recent observations (A. Cetkovic com. pers.) confirmed the settlement of the species on the European continent.

Pierre Rasmont


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