Melittidae - Macropis

author(s) : Denis Michez
Among Melittidae s.str., the genus Macropis is characterized notably by the yellow markings of the male, the two submarginal cells (while the other Melittidae s.str. have three) and the well-developed pygidial plate of both sexes (Michener 1981). The morphological adaptations to collect oil (velvety hairs on the female fore legs) are also characteristic.
Macropis includes 16 species into three subgenera: Macropis s.str., Paramacropis Popov & Guiglia 1936 and Sinomacropis Michener 1981. Each species can be defined by a unique combination of a few features: shape of male yellow facial marking, pilosity of propodeal triangle, punctation of terga, shape of pygidial plate, shape of hidden male sterna and shape of male genitalia (Michener 1981, Wu & Michener 1986, Michez & Patiny 2005).
The genus Macropis is Holarctic. In East-Palaearctic, Paramacropis is distributed Northern the Yellow Sea and Sinomacropis Southern. The subgenus Macropis s.str. is also Holarctic. Three well-distinct species groups can be considered: (i) a West-Palaearctic group (three species) reaching Altai (Russia), Northern Kazakhstan; (ii) an Asian group which includes nine Chinese, East-Siberian and Japanese species; (iii) a Nearctic group with four species mainly distributed along the Eastern coast of the USA and Canada.


(Macropis) ciliata Patton 1880
(Macropis) dimidiata Yasumatsu & Hirashima 1956
(Macropis) europaea Warncke 1973
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(Macropis) frivaldszkyi Mocsary 1878
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(Macropis) fulvipes (Fabricius 1805)
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(Macropis) kiangsuensis Wu 1978
(Macropis) nuda (Provancher 1882)
(Macropis) patellata Patton 1880
(Macropis) steironematis Robertson 1891
(Macropis) tibialis Yasumatsu & Hirashima 1956
(Paramacropis) ussuriana Popov & Guiglia 1936
(Sinomacropis) hedini Alfken 1936
(Sinomacropis) immaculata Wu 1965
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(Sinomacropis) micheneri Wu 1992
(Sinomacropis) omeiensis Wu 1965
(Sinomacropis) orientalis Michez 2005


Celary, W. 2005. Melittidae of Poland (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila): Their Biodiversity and Biology. Polish Academia of Sciences, Kraków (Poland), 175 pp.
Michener, C.D. 1981. Classification of the bee family Melittidae with a review of species of Meganomiinae. Contribution of the American Entomological Institute, 18, 1-135.
Michez D. & Patiny S. 2005. World revision of the oil-collecting bee genus Macropis Panzer 1809 (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Melittidae) with a description of a new species from Laos. Annales de la Société entomologique de France, 41 (1): 25pp.
Michez D., Nel A., Menier J.J., Rasmont P. 2007. The oldest fossil of a melittid bee (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) from the early Eocene of Oise (France). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 150, 701-709.
see also:
Pekkarinen, A., O. Berg, I. Calabuig, L.-A. Janzon, J. Luig. 2003. Distribution and co-existence of the Macropis species and their cleptoparasite Epeoloides coecutiens (Fabr.) in NW Europe (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Melittidae and Apidae). Entomologica Fennica, 14: 53-59.
Wu, Y.-R. 1965. A study of chinese Macropis with descriptions of two new species (Apoidea, Melittidae). Acta Entomologica Sinica, 14, 591-599.
Wu, Y.-R. 1978. A study of chinese Melittidae with description of new species (Hymenoptera : Apoidea). Acta Entomologica Sinica, 21, 419-428.
Wu, Y.-R. 2000. Hymenoptera, Melittidae & Apidae. Academia Sinica, Beijing, 442 pp.
Wu, Y.-R. & Michener, C.D. 1986. Observations on chinese Macropis. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 59, 42-48.