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Data for an atlas of the Hymenoptera of western Europe. ID. Parasitic bees of the genera Coelioxys Latreille, Sphecodes Latreille, Melecta Latreille and Thyreus Panzer



Data for an atlas of the Hymenoptera of western Europe. ID. Parasitic bees of the genera Coelioxys Latreille, Sphecodes Latreille, Melecta Latreille and Thyreus Panzer



Bull Inst Agron Sta Rech Gembloux 33(1): 98-127



The material available to the author included 16 species of Coelioxys, 20 of Sphecodes, 3 of Melecta and 5 of Thyreus; many of them are recorded from various Western European districts not much explored so far. There is also a substantial contribution to the knowledge of the flower relations of these parasitic bees. However most of the information gathered here concern the fauna of Belgium. They amount to at least 243 individual records of Coelioxys, 384 of Sphecodes, 68 of Melecta and 22 of Thyreus, these genera being represented in this country, respectively, by 9, 16, 2 and one species. Their distributions throughout Belgium are often puzzling, perhaps unsettled. Most of the species do not form dense populations, except in some sandy sites of Lower and Middle Belgium. It seems that several of them have disappeared or became rarer during the last 2 decades. With a few exceptions, females are more often collected than males. Beyong specific characters and annual idiosyncrasies, there are obvious phenological characters at the generic level: Meleeta is a restricted spring genus, Coelioxys is really active during 3 months only and finds its optimum in July. The Sphecodes fly throughout the whole vegetation period; with 2 possible exceptions, they have retained the peculiar cycle of the usual Halictidae : their spring populations consist entirely of females, the males appearing only from July to late in the autumn.

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