Oil-collecting bees: Macropis steironema opaca

(Hymenoptera: [Apoidea:] Melittidae: Melittinae)

Profile prepared by Matthew Shepherd, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Macropis steironema opaca is a very rare endemic and may be extinct. Tepedino and Griswold (1995) state “This subspecies probably should be listed under the Endangered Species Act if it still exists.”

red list profile

conservation status

Xerces Red List Status: Critically Imperiled (Possibly Extinct)
Other Rankings:

Canada – Species at Risk Act: N/A
Canada – provincial status: N/A
Mexico: N/A
USA – Endangered Species Act: N/A
USA – state status: N/A
NatureServe: N/A
IUCN Red List: N/A

Macropis steironema opaca is a very rare endemic and may be extinct. Tepedino and Griswold (1995) state “This subspecies probably should be listed under the Endangered Species Act if it still exists.”

taxonomic status

Macropis steironema opaca (Robertson, 1891).

life history

Very little is known of this bee. The flight season of Macropis steironema opaca is in the summer. Like all other members of the subgenus Macropis, it is a specialist forager of Lysimachia (loosestrife). Macropis collect pollen and, unusually, floral oil from Lysimachia, which they mix together to provide larval food. They also use the oil to line the brood cells (Cane et al, 1983) of their underground nests. For energy, they visit other flowers to drink nectar.

distribution

Macropis steironema opaca has only been recorded at Morgan’s Ferry, Washington, along the Yakima River. The sole record is from 1882.

threats and conservation needs

It is not known whether Macropis steironema opaca is extant.

references

Cane, J. H., G. C. Eickwort, F.R. Wesley, and J. Speilholz. 1983. Foraging, grooming, and mate-seeking behaviors of Macropis nuda (Hymenoptera, Melittidae) and use of Lysimachia ciliata (Primulaceae) oils in larval provisions and cell linings. American Midland Naturalist 110:257-264

Michener, C.D. 2000. The Bees of the World. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Tepedino, V.J., and T.L. Griswold. 1995. The bees of the Columbia Basin. Final report, USDA Forest Service, Portland, OR. 212 pp (Technical Report)

additional resources

There are no additional resources available for this species.

citation

Shepherd, M. D. 2005. Species Profile: Macropis steironema opaca. In Shepherd, M. D., D. M. Vaughan, and S. H. Black (Eds). Red List of Pollinator Insects of North America. CD-ROM Version 1 (May 2005). Portland, OR: The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.