Hylaeus in Hawaii

Hylaeus paradoxicus

Islands: Hawaii

Locations: Hawaii - (Kipuka Alala, Puu Waawaa)

Habitats: Montane dry and mesic forest.

Plants: Chamaesyce, Myoporum

Xerces: Hylaeus paradoxicus, a large bee endemic to the island of Hawaii in Hawaii, is distinguished by its unusual red abdomen. It is very similar to H. gliddenae, but lacks facial marks in the male. Formerly abundant in the Kilauea area, it has been recently collected only rarely in the dry forests of Kona.
Species ProfilePDF

Insects of Hawaii: Large bees with punctured terga, dark wings, and unique body color: head and mesosoma black and metasoma red. Sister species of H gliddenae; see remarks for that species.

We conclude that H. erythrodemas is a rare, shiny red, female variant and a synonym of H. paradoxicus. We chose the latter name because it is based on a male type. Female H. erythrodemas are nearly identical to female H. paradoxicus. Examination of the holotype female of H. erythrodemas confirms some of the differences mentioned by Perkins: body less robust, propodeum with much weaker rugosity, metasoma red, second tergum sparsely punctured (also much smaller pits), and second sternum strongly raised. The shape of the face and propodeum, however, appear the same as H. paradoxicus, and other specimens identified as H. erythrodemas are less distinctly different in the characters listed by Perkins. Both nominal taxa are known only from Hawaii: H. erythrodemas was described from Kau at 4000 ft and H. paradoxicus from Kona at 4000 ft. Hylaeus erythrodemas is known only from the female, whereas both males and females are known for H. paradoxicus. Specimens identified by Perkins as H. erythrodemas are: 3? Kilauea (BPBM); 1? Kilauea, 4000 ft (OUMNH); ? holotype, Kau, 4000 ft (BMNH). Specimens available of H. paradoxicus are: many ?? and a few ?? from Kilauea, 4000 ft; Kilauea Dry Forest, 4000 ft; Kona, 4000 ft; N. Kona, 3000 ft; and S. Kona, 2000 ft (BPBM); 1? 1? Kona, 4000 ft (OUMNH); ? lectotype, Kona, 4000 ft (BMNH). It is evident that specimens identified as H. paradoxicus are widespread and sympatric with those identified as H. erythrodemas. All recent specimens have come from Kona.
Insects of Hawaii Volume 17PDF

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