Morphology and Food Plants of Cuckoo Bees (Apidae: Hymenoptera) From Indian Himalayas

Rifat H. Raina*, Malkiat S. Saini
 
Department of Zoology and Environmental Sciences Punjabi University Patiala, INDIA
* Corresponding author: rifat72001@yahoo.co.in; rifat72001@rediffmail.com
 

Abstract. Cuckoo bees belong to the genus Bombus (Apidae: Hymenoptera) under sub genus Psythrus Lepeletier and is widely distributed subgenus from the oriental region represented by 17 valid species. This subgenus is represented by eight valid species from Indian Himalayas viz. B. ferganicus B. novus, B. morawatizianus, B. cornutus, B. branickii, B. skorikovi, B. tibetanus and B. turneri. Due emphasis has been laid on their altitudional distribution, food plants, taxonomy, synonymy, and illustrations. Being their parasitic nature these species lack worker caste and has negligible role in pollination ecology although they have got preference to forage on different host plants. The species were observed feeding sluggishly on flower heads of Rosa weibbiana, Cirsium spp. and Trifoium spp. Many new food plants of these species have been recorded for the first time from the area under study. During the present studies six species of the cuckoo bees were collected and identified and one species viz. B. turneri which could not found during the present study were procured on exchanged from BMNH, London. 

Key words: Morphology, food plants, Cuckoo bees, Indian Himalayas.
 
Ecologia Balkanica, 2015, vol. 7, Issue 1, pp.63-80

Article № eb.15104, ICID: 1164565 [Full text - PDF]pdf

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