Melecta albifrons

(Forster, 1771)

Author(s) : Rasmont P.
Melecta (Melecta) albifrons (Forster, 1771)
=Melecta punctata (Fabricius,1775)
=Melecta armata (Panzer,1799)
ssp. albifrons
ssp. albovaria (Erikson, 1840)
ssp. nigra Spinola, 1806

Three subspecies are recognized: ssp. albifrons, in northern part of the area, with whitish-braunish tinged bands, and ssp. albovaria in southern part, with pure white bands. The nearly all black ssp. nigra mainly occurs in Corsica, Sardinia and Italy.

This is by far the most abundant and widespread Melecta species. It occurs in nearly all countries of the West-Palaearctic, except Eire and Fennoscandia. Even if it is the most widespread species, it is nevertheless nowhere abundant.

It cleptoparsites mainly Anthophora (Anthophora) plumipes but also A. (Anthophora) fulvitarsis and A. (Melea) parietina, where these species occur.

It does not seem specialized in foraging plants. There are observations mainly on Tanacetum, Aubrieta, Anchusa, Saponaria, Glechoma, Echium, for the females and on Rosmarinus, Brassica, Anchusa, Lamium, Taraxacum, Lavandula, Cheiranthus, Arabis for males.

P. Rasmont



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