Bulletin 15 - November 1981: Notes on the Bees and Wasps of the UAE

Notes on the Bees and Wasps of the UAE

by C.G. Roche

Since I arrived in the UAE at the end of last year, I have been out collecting bees and wasps almost every Friday and public holiday as well as a few lunchtime forays. This activity has realised some 185 different species -- I have to say about because it is often difficult to relate correctly the males and females together; sometimes there is a considerable amount of variation within a species which can persuade one to think that more than one species is involved; on the other hand, it is equally easy to confuse sibling species which later have to be separated.

During a fortnight's leave in July, I managed with the expert help of my friends, Mr. K.M. Guichard (Sphecidae and Bumenidae) and Major D.D. Baker (Apoidea), to get part of this haul named. Of course much remains to be done on the balance of the specimens taken in the first six months of 1981, quite apart from those taken subsequently. What I have so far taken seems to warrant a preliminary report. In this paper I will not do more than to give a list with a few notes whether or not the species have been named. The reasons why some have not yet been named are:

  • some are species new to science and as yet have not been described and named
  • some are possibly new as well but require more research and study to be sure
  • some belong to 'difficult' groups and must be referred to specialists in these groups
  • and the rest are those which I have not yet got round to dealing with

Where I do not know the name of a species, I give it a number within its genus if I know that or within the family if I do not.

The following list of species taken between 1st January and 30th June 1981, includes those taken from just over in the Oman but before the frontier posts, i.e. from 'Fossil Canyon' etc., as well as from the UAE. Insects, after all, do not recognise political boundaries!

Preliminary list of the Hymenoptera aculeata of the UAE


Species Notes
Prionyx niveatus (Dufour)
P. subfuscatus (Dahlbom) This is the large black wasp, the female of which is often seen taking a locust back to its nest in a hole in the ground
P. viduatus (Christ)
Podalonia tydei (Le Gaillou)
Parapsammophila turanica Morawitz
Ammophila gracillima Taschenberg
A. rubripes Spinola
Dinetus sp. I This is probably a new species
Astata sp. I aff. cleopatra de Beaumont
Laphyragogus sp. I This may be L. visnagae de Beaumont
L. sp. 2 This seems to be a new species
Gastrosericus electus Nurse
G. moricei Saunders
G. sanctus Pulawski
G. sp.2
Tachytes cameronianus Morice
T. comberi Turner
T. trichopygus Pulawski
Tachysphex erythrophorus Dalla Torre
T. erythropus (Spinola)
T. fulvicornis Turner
T. grandissimus Gussakovskij
T. micans Radoszkowski
T. mycerinus de Beaumont
T. panzeri (Vander Linden)
T. pulcher Pulawski There is doubt about this determination
T. rugosus Gussakovskij
T. schmiedeknechti Kohl
T. sericans Gussakovskij There is some doubt about this.
T. sp. aff. nitidus de Beaumont
T. sp. aff. palopterus Dahlbom
Parapiagetia mongolica (Morawitz)
P. sp. 1
P. sp. 2
Holotachysphex holognathus (Morice)
Palarus dongalensis Klug
P. laetus laetus Klug
P. parvulus de Beaumont
P. spinolae spinolae Saussure
P. sp. I
P. sp. 2 This may be a new species.
Solierella sp. 2
Miscophus otenopus Kohl
M. Gallicus Kohl
M. sp. 3 This is a previously known but undescribed species.
M. sp. 4 This is probably a new species.
M. sp. 5 This also may be new
Oelomicrus sp. I
Oxybclus collaris Kohl
O. lamellatus Olivier
O. sp. 3 This may be a new species.
Stizus bizonatus Spinola
S. nadigi Roths
S. savignyi Spinola
S. sp. I
Stizoides poecilopterus (Handlirsch)
Sembecinus bytinskii de Beaumont
B sp. 2 This may be a colour variety of a manuscript new species of Mr. Guichard.
Bembix chopardi Derland
B. dahlbomii Handlirsch
B. freygessneri Morice
B. irritata Nurse
B. kohlii Morice
B. oculata Panzer
B. pallescens Priesner
B. rufiventris Priesner One of the females included under this name seems somewhat different from the remainder
B. sp. l
B. sp. 6
B. sp. 7 This may be a colour variety of B. pallescens but there are structural differences as well.
B. sp. 8
B. sp. 10
B. sp. 11
Philanthus coarctatus Spinola
P. pallidus Klug
Pseudoscolia dewitzi Kohl
Eremiasphecium sp. 1
Cerceris albicincta Klug
C. chromatica Schletterer
C. circularis (Fabricius) This may be a race of C. circularis but there are doubts.
C. lateriproducta Mochi
C. straminea Dufour
C. tricolorata Spinola
C. sp. 4
C. sp. 7. aff. clytia de Beaumont
C. sp. 8
C. sp. 11
C. sp. 12


Vespidae (Social Wasps)
Polistes sp. 1
Chlorodynerus chloroticus
Cyrtolabulus sp. 1
Delta campaniforme gracile (Saussure)
D. dimidiatipenne (Saussure)
D. hottentotum elegans (SS)
Euodynerus excellens (Per.)
E. niloticus (SS)
Leptochilus sp. 1
Celonites sp.2
C. sp. 3
C. sp. 4
Jugurtia sp. 1
Quartinia sp. 1
Q. sp. 2


Pompilidae (Spider Hunting Wasps)
P. sp. 1
P. sp. 2
P. sp. 3
P. sp. 4
P. sp. 5
P. sp. 6
P. sp. 7
P. sp. 8


Chrysididae (Cuckoo wasps)
Cleptinae sp. 1
Chrysis (Holochrysis) sp. 1I
C. (H.) sp. 2
C. (H.) sp. 3
C. (Tetrachrysis) sp. 2
C. (T.) sp. 3
Parnopes sp. 1
Hedychridium sp. 4
Hedychrum sp. 1
H. sp. 2
Omalus sp. 1
Dryinidae sp. 1


Scolia (s.l.) sp. 1
Elis (s.l.) sp. 1
E. (s.l.) sp. 2 This may be the male of E. sp. 3
E. (s.l.) sp. 3 This may be the female of E. sp. 2
Meria sp. 1
M. sp. 2
Mesa sp. 1
Myzinella patrizii Guiglia I am not sure of this determination
Mutillidae (Velvet Ants)
sp. 1 This male was taken at light at Wadi Asinah, near Tayidah. A number of species of this family are nocturnal.


Colletes lacunatus Dours
Pseudapis nilotica (Smith) An important pollinator
Crocisaspidia forbesii (Kirby)
C. muscatensis (Ckll.)
Nomioides karachensis Ckll.
Halictidae sp. 2
H. sp. 3
H. sp. 5
H. sp. 6
H. sp. 7
H. sp. 8
H. sp. 9
H. sp. 11
H. sp. 12
Megachilidae (This family includes the leaf cutters)
Megachile (Burymella) patellimana Spinola
Chalicodoma (Chalicodoma) sp. 1
C. (Archimegachile) rubripes Mor.
Creightonella amabilis (Ckll.)
Mesanthidium alternans (Klug)
Eoanthidium sp. aff. clypeare (Mor.)
Anthocopa (Haetosmia) sp. 1
Anthocopa (Haetosmia) sp. 2
These are two new species which Major Baker has described from my material. The holotypes are in the British Museum (Natural History). The names given to these species cannot be used until the publication of the descriptions.
A. (Paraashmeadiella) helouanensis (Friese)
Megachile sp. 3
M. sp. 6
M. sp. 6
M. sp. 8
M. sp. 9
M. sp. 10
M. sp. 11
M. sp. 14
M. sp. 15
M. sp. 16
M. sp. 18
M. sp. 19
M. sp. 22
M. sp. 23
M. sp. 24
M. sp. 25
Andrena sp. 1
Pararophites quadratus (Friese) This was common on Zygophyllum sp.
Amegilla byssina(Klug)
Thyreus sp. 1
Heliophila sp. aff. tridentella (Priesner)
Pithitis tarsata (Mor.)
Xylocopa sp. 1
X. sp. 2
These are the very large carpenter bees, one wholly black and the other with a yellow thorax in the female and wholly yellow in the male seen around flowering shrubs.
Apis mellifera Linnaeus The honey bee
A. sp. 1 This may be A. florea the smallest of the genus
Apoidea sp. 1
A. sp. 4
A. sp. 7
A. sp. 8
A. sp. 10
A. sp. 12 As I am not sure of the families of these six species of bee, I have numbered them within their superfamily.

In subsequent issues of this Bulletin, I shall hope to be able to correct this list, converting my numbered species into named ones when I have been able to and to add newly collected species (of which since 1st July there are already quite a number:). I also would like to give keys for the separation of the families, genera and species that I have found. Analysis of the list by place of capture would provide data of the comparative diversity of the different collecting places. Analysis by date of capture would be useful to give an idea of the flight periods of the species and of the males compared with the females of each species.


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