A monograph of the Baltic amber bees and evolution of the Apoidea (Hymenoptera). Bulletin of the AMNH ; no. 259

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Date
2001
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[New York] : American Museum of Natural History
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Abstract
The bees found as Baltic amber inclusions are revised and the history of studies on these fossils is briefly reviewed. In total this subtropical Eocene fauna contains 36 species and 18 genera, all extinct. These are classified here into nine tribes, six subfamilies, and five families of which six tribes and one family are unknown in the modern fauna. The following taxa are described as new to science: Paleomelittidae, new family; Boreallodapini, Electrobombini, Eomacropidini, Melikertini, Protolithurgini, new tribes; Ctenoplectrellina, new subtribe; Boreallodape, Electrobombus, Electrolictus, Eomacropis, Glaesosmia, Liotrigonopsis, Melissites, Paleomelitta, Protolithurgus, Succinapis, Thaumastobombus, new genera; Boreallodape baltica, B. mollyae, B. striebichi, Ctenoplectrella cockerelli, C. grimaldii, Electrapis krishnorum, Electrobombus samlandensis, Electrolictus antiquus, Eomacropis glaesaria, Glaesosmia genalis, Glyptapis densopunctata, G. disareolata, Liotrigonopsis rozeni, Melikertes clypeatus, Melissites trigona, Paleomelitta nigripennis, Protobombus basilaris, Protolithurgus ditomeus, Succinapis goeleti, S. micheneri, S. proboscidea, Thaumastobombus andreniformis, new species (seven new family-, 11 new genus-, and 22 new species-group taxa). The genus Electrapis is found to be paraphyletic and the subgenera Melikertes, Roussyana, and Protobombus are given generic status outside of Electrapis. The subtribe Electrapina is elevated to tribal rank among the corbiculate Apinae and the subfamily Glyptapinae of Cockerell is reduced to subtribal rank within Osmiini. The genera Chalcobombus and Sophrobombus are newly synonymized with Protobombus. Glyptapis reducta Cockerell is synonymized with G. fuscula Cockerell, Electrapis minuta Kelner-Pillault with Apis palmnickenensis Roussy, Ctenoplectrella splendens Kelner-Pillault and C. dentata Salt both with C. viridiceps Cockerell, Electrapis apoides Manning and Chalcobombus humilis Cockerell both with Protobombus indecisus Cockerell, and Electrapis bombusoides Kelner-Pillault with E. tornquisti Cockerell (new synonymies). The following new combinations are proposed: Electrapis martialis (Cockerell), Melikertes proavus (Menge), M. stilbonotus (Engel), Kelneriapis eocenica (Kelner-Pillault), Protobombus fatalis (Cockerell), P. hirsutus (Cockerell), and Electrapis martialis (Cockerell) (new combinations). A lectotype is designated for Electrapis minuta Kelner-Pillault and neotypes designated for Apis meliponoides Buttel-Reepen, A. palmnickenensis Roussy, Chalcobombus humilis Cockerell, C. hirsutus Cockerell, C. martialis Cockerell, Ctenoplectrella dentata Salt, C. viridiceps Cockerell, Electrapis tornquisti Cockerell, Glyptapis reticulata Cockerell, G. neglecta Salt, Protobombus indecisus Cockerell, P. tristellus Cockerell, and Sophrobombus fatalis Cockerell. The subfamily Xylocopinae is recorded for the first time from amber, and the families Halictidae and Melittidae are confirmed as occurring in Baltic amber. The oldest fossils of the Halictidae, Megachilidae (Lithurginae and Megachilinae), Melittidae, and Xylocopinae are reported and described herein. Keys are presented for the identification of the Baltic amber bees. Three new recent taxa are also proposed: Penapini, Redivivini, and Meliturgulini (new tribes). Cladistic analyses of the Lithurginae, Xylocopinae, and corbiculate Apinae are presented. Preliminary investigation of lithurgine relationships demonstrates that the fossil, Protolithurgus, is sister to extant genera of the subfamily and that Lithurgus s.s. is likely paraphyletic with respect to Lithurgopsis and Microthurge. Xylocopine relationships are generally in accord with those previously proposed: Xylocopini sister to all other tribes and Manueliini sister to the abruptly narrowed mandible tribes (i.e., Ceratinini, Allodapini, and Boreallodapini). Boreallodapini, despite some apparently apomorphic similarities with Ceratinini, is supported as sister to Allodapini. The paleontological evidence for corbiculate bee phylogeny reinforces traditional concepts over relationships of these tribes and contradicts recent molecular studies. Two extinct corbiculate tribes are based on specimens that exhibit worker morphologies indicative of advanced eusocial behavior and are related to the living, advanced eusocial tribes Apini and Meliponini, supporting a hypothesis of a single origin for this behavioral characteristic. The composition of the Eocene bee fauna of Europe is discussed. The fauna is predominantly composed of long-tongued bees, but some short-tongued bees are represented in the families Halictidae, Paleomelittidae, and Melittidae. Bees in Baltic amber are generally allied with groups currently inhabiting sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia, a biogeographic pattern common to many Baltic amber groups. The phylogeny and origin of bees are discussed. The bees are a derived, monophyletic group of the spheciform wasps and presumably arose sometime in the earliest mid-Cretaceous after the origin of angiosperms. Reports of bees from Jurassic strata or earlier are all refuted. All available evidence supports the idea that bees originated shortly after flowering plants and diversified into higher lineages contemporaneously with the radiations of angiosperms. Major bee lineages (i.e., families) were thus presumably established by the late Cretaceous. A catalog of bees presently known in amber and copal is appended as is a catalog of family- and genus-group names for fossil bees (both amber inclusions and compression fossils). A preliminary outline of the tribal classification of Recent and fossil bees with their geological distribution is presented (with three new family-group taxa for living bees).
Description
192 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 162-174) and index.
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