New paper in Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift


Morphology, pollen preferences and DNA-barcoding of five Austrian species in the Colletes succinctus group (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

Zenz K, Zettel H, Kuhlmann M & Krenn HW.  Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 68(1): 101-138. Published online 2 February 2021.


Most species of the Colletes succinctus group sensu Noskiewicz, 1936 are taxonomically uncertain. This study has chosen an integrative approach, including pollen analysis, morphology, male genitalia, morphometry, cuticle sculpture and DNA-barcoding (CO1) to investigate the five species that were reported from Austria. It includes a detailed analysis of the male genitalia and the first description of the C. pannonicus male. A syntype male from the island of Crete was designated as the lectotype of Colletes succinctus brevigena Noskiewicz, 1936 to fix the species identity. New distinguishing characters were found: in females the shape of the dorsal end of the fovea facialis and, in both sexes, the structure of maxillary palpi, as well as the different puncturation on the mesopleura. Unknown structures on sterna and genitalia of the males proved to be reliable morphological characters. An identification key is provided for all studied species. Morphometry of females did not allow a clear distinction of species. CO1 sequencing confirmed previous studies that only C. collaris clearly deviates from the other species, including C. pannonicus that was analysed for the first time. Pollen analysis showed polylectic, as well as oligolectic, pollen-collecting behaviour. The collected pollen of C. pannonicus confirmed the field observations that this species is strictly oligolectic on Tripolium pannonicum. Due to pronounced intraspecific variation, it is assumed that the species of the C. succinctus group are either species in statu nascendi or very young species. Therefore, it remains important to include ecological data in species identification.