Wednesday 7 November 2012

A new species of Solitary Bee from Peru.

In 1997 Danúncia Urban of the Laboratório de Biologia Comparada de Hymenoptera at the Departamento de Zoologia at the Universidade Federal do Paraná in Brazil  described a new species of Solitary Bee, Mirnapis inca (the Inca Bee), from six male specimens found in Arequipa Provice, Peru. In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 11 September 2012, Laurence Packer and Sheila Dumash of the Department of Biology at York University, in Toronto, describe the female of Mirnapis inca for the first time, as well as describing a second, new, species within the same genus, Mirnapis ohloweni.

Mirnapis ohloweni is named after Michael Ohl and Robin Owen, who collected the Bee specimens used in this study. Both sexes of the Bee are described, the male being 11.7-12.5 mm long, reddish brown Bee, and the female a 13.0-14.0 mm,  black, orange and brown Insect. All the specimens described came from western Peru, 50-55 km east of the city of Nazca.

Mirnapis ohloweni, male (top) and female (bottom). Packer & Dumesh (2012).

The female of Mirnapis inca is  similar to the male, but rather darker in colouration. The females, along with a number of additional male specimens, were collected from several sites in Chile.

Mirnapis inca, male (top) and female (bottom). Packer & Dumesh (2012).

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