Hylaeus in Hawaii


Hylaeus kona

Islands: Hawaii

Locations: Hawaii - (Kipuka Alala, Mauna Kea SP, PTA, Puu Koli, Redleg Trail)

Habitats: Montane dry forest and subalpine shrubland.

Plants: Bidens, Chamaesyce, Myoporum, Sophora

Xerces: Hylaeus kona is a small bee endemic to the island of Hawaii in Hawaii. It is similar to H. kokeensis, differing by the grooved scape, marked mandible, and other details. It is known from very few collections, and appears to be associated with the tree Chamaesyce olowaluana.
Species ProfilePDF

Insects of Hawaii: Small bees with clear wings and with median plate at wing base yellow. The last is a feature shared only with H. kokeensis. Male face yellow, extended in narrow vittae above the antennal sockets; yellow marks on mandible, pronotal collar at sides and lobes, legs with tibiae and basitarsi yellow except dark brown bands on mid and hind tibiae; scape with a very distinct groove on underside, and usually a mark on the lateral edge. Female with long yellow stripe along eye, yellow marks on pronotal collar and lobes, and tegulae.

This species appears to be restricted to high-elevation areas of Mauna Kea and Hualalai. It is very similar to the sympatric H. dimidiatus, with similar marks on the face, metasoma, and legs. The former has a distinctively shaped scape with the median edge strongly convex and a conspicuous groove underneath, and marks on the mandible, median plate, and sometimes the tegula. Hylaeus dimidiatus has a nearly triangular scape, moderately dilated but with the median edge not strongly convex, and unmarked mandible, median plate, and tegula.
Insects of Hawaii Volume 17PDF

UH/DOD: This species was found almost exclusively in July, at several sites along the Redleg Trail (Area 21) and Area 4 in Pohakuloa Training Area, and immediately adjacent at Mauna Kea State Park and Puu Koli (Figure 7). It was often found in company with H. flavipes, which it closely resembles. Followup searches from August onward failed to find either species at any of the previous sites, with the exception of a single H. kona found at Puu Koli in October; only H. difficilis, the most common Hawaii species, was present at most sites. Previously H. kona had been found at both Kipuka Kalawamauna (Area 22) and Kipuka Alala (Area 23); it has not been collected elsewhere for several decades.
Hylaeus near military landsPDF

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Images and information mostly from various works by Karl Magnacca.
Questions? e-mail fstarr@hawaii.rr.com
Starr Environmental