Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida


Date of this Version



Eugene J. Scarpulla Four submarginal cells on a forewing of Melitoma taurea (Say) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and a summary of known records of atypical and variable numbers of submarginal cells Insecta Mundi 0667: 1–28


Copyright held by the author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial License.


A specimen of Melitoma taurea (Say) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was captured on Hart-Miller Island, Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore County, Maryland. The specimen possessed the typical three submarginal cells on the right forewing but exhibited four submarginal cells on the left forewing due to the presence of an additional submarginal crossvein dividing the second submarginal cell. The presence of four submarginal cells is a rare occurrence in bees. Besides documenting this occurrence, this paper presents a summary of known published and previously unpublished records of atypical and variable numbers of submarginal cells. Published records were found for 66 species: Colletidae (1), Andrenidae (28), Halictidae (19), and Apidae (18). In four instances, published records were also found at the genus or subgenus level. Previously unpublished records are reported for 29 species: Colletidae (1), Andrenidae (5), Halictidae (13), and Apidae (10). Previously unpublished records are also shown for six specimens that are only identified to genus or subgenus. Twelve-and-one-third percent of the specimens with atypical numbers of submarginal cells would normally have had two submarginal cells; 87.7% would normally have had three submarginal cells. Approximately, 49.4% of the specimens had atypical numbers on one wing, and approximately 50.6% had atypical numbers on both wings. Of the normally two submarginal cell specimens, 80.0% gained and 20.0% lost one submarginal crossvein. Of the normally three submarginal cell specimens, 1.4% gained one submarginal crossvein and 98.6% lost one or more submarginal crossveins.