• Family: Apidae
  • Tribe: Epeolini
  • Approximate # species in region: 9
  • Common name: longhorn-cuckoo bees

Some of our meanest-looking bees, Triepeolus are cleptoparasites of longhorn bees (Eucerini). They are typically distinctly banded in white, black, and red, relatively hairless and found in the summer months when eucerines are active. Triepeolus females lay eggs in the open brood cells of longhorn bees. The eggs hatch into first instar larvae that kill the host egg with their large mandibles. The larva develops on the host pollen provision. Some of the relationships between Triepeolus and their hosts are well known and documented, as is the case with T. remigatus and Peponapis pruinosa, while others are only presumed relationships based on limited knowledge of host nesting biology.

Cleptoparasite – host relationships:

  • Triepeolus remigatus and Peponapis pruinosa
  • Triepeolus lunatus and Melissodes bimaculatus (presumed)
  • Triepeolus pectoralis and Melissodes druriellus (formerly M. rustica)
  • Triepeolus donatus and Melissodes desponsus
  • Triepeolus concavus and Svastra obliqua

Species covered:

Scientific NameCommon NamePhenologyHabitatForage
Triepeolus lunatusLunate longhorn-cuckooSummerWidespread, tied to hostGeneralist, favors Asteraceae
Triepeolus remigatusSquash longhorn-cuckooSummerWidespread, tied to hostGeneralist, favors Asteraceae

Species requiring accounts:

  • Triepeolus concavus
  • Triepeolus donatus
  • Triepeolus pectoralis