Triepeolus lunatus

Cuckoo Bee
Triepeolus lunatus


Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female sleeping
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female sleeping on Obedient Plant Aug 04, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female on Black-eyed Susan Aug 12, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male on Blanketflower July 19, 2006 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male on Cup Plant Aug 22, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario.

All marks vary from yellow to pale yellowish.
Head: Black. Female has dense yellowish hair around antenna bases. Male has silvery hair over entire face.
Antenna: Black; sometime with reddish-brown on base (scape), pedicel and segment 1.
Thorax: Black; segments have intermittent pale yellowish outline. Collar thick, unbroken. Segment 1 (scutum) has longitudinal pair of very short stripes each side of centre; these stripes do not touch collar. Segment 2 (scutellum) has two thick yellowish lines on lower margin. Segment 3 (propodeum) has an arc of white hair at each side, curving down toward centre. Thorax side tubercle has a dense yellowish fringe, and another spot next to it; female has wide, intermittent line of yellowish hair from tubercle up to wing base and ending in a tuft near propodeum and another crescent patch below tubercle. Thorax side of male sparsely covered with feathery yellowish hair, except for one small bare spot.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish on female, black on male. Wings slightly tinted, tips darker. Veins black.
Legs: Reddish-brown, covered with silvery-white hair. Thighs (femora) with black streaks on female. Male thighs entirely black. Northern Ontario males may have legs almost entirely black. Female has red feet, male has black.
Abdomen: Black with yellow to pale yellowish stripes; stripes wider on male.
Segment 1 has two stripes. Base stripe wide and extremely wide at side edge joint. Lower stripe is narrow. Both are interrupted at center. Black area between the two stripes is a small triangle shape.
Segment 2 stripe narrowly interrupted at center. Side patches present or not.
Segments 3 and 4 stripes continuous across segments. Segment 4 paler yellow.
Segment 5 on female has a triangular grayish patch at each side edge, pointing inward. Another grayish triangle on lower margin also points inward (or up) and had a dark oval center with dark hairs.
Underside blackish. Segments 2 to 4 striped. Segment 5 not concave.
Segments 5 and 6 on male stripes are almost white to silvery-white.
Underside of 2-3 have white hair stripes; 4-5 have long tufts of brown/white hair. Tip narrowing, square.

Similar Species: T. simplex has median stripes on thorax touching collar. Underside of abdominal segments 2-4 striped in T. lunatus; side tufts only in T. simplex. Male underside of segment 5 hair is very short on T. simplex; a long tuft on T. lunatus.

Size: 8 to 13 mm

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Adults feed on nectar and pollen.

Flight Time: June to August

Life Cycle: Larvae are parasites of Long-horned or Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies. Also in Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page…