Squash longhorn-cuckoo (Triepeolus remigatus) is never far from its squash bee hosts Peponapis pruinosa and Xenoglossa strenua. This Triepeolus has a distinctive “anchor” pattern on its thorax, and has a preference for nectar from summer-blooming Asteraceae in the garden and agricultural fields; rarely, if ever, do they visit squash (Cucurbita). They can also be seen at the nesting aggregations of their hosts investigating the ground for nest entrances.
Summer, July-August; well-timed to coincide with peak Peponapis pruinosa activity.
Mainly mid-Atlantic, present alongside host Peponapis pruinosa. Scarce and uncommon throughout New England with scattered records in northern Vermont.
Size ≈ honey bee
Females are largely hairless and wasp-like; black thorax rimmed entirely with yellow hairs resembling “anchor”; tiny black diamond on T1; dark wings (especially tips) often held up while foraging; scopae absent
Males are like females.
Black “anchor” pattern on thorax helps to distinguish T. remigatus among northeast Triepeolus.
- Triepeolus lunatus is also common in garden and backyard habitats, but has an incomplete yellow band of hair around the thorax (creating a much larger black spot on thorax), and a bigger triangular black spot on T1.
Does not build its own nests. Cleptoparasite of squash bees Peponapis pruinosa and Xenoglossa strenua.
Apparent preference for nectaring on Asteraceae in gardens like Cosmos, sunflowers (Helianthus), and ox-eye (Heliopsis). Also visits mints Lamiaceae like oregano (Origanum).
Unknown whether there are nest predators of T. remigatus; if so, they would likely also be non-bee predators of P. pruinosa and X. strenua.
Page last updated:
January 17, 2023