University of California

The squash and gourd bees—genera Peponapis Robertson and Xenoglossa Smith—inhabiting America north of Mexico (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)


E. Gorton Linsley
Paul D. Hurd

Authors Affiliations

E. Gorton Linsley was Professor of Entomology and Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Berkeley; Paul D. Hurd, Jr. was Lecturer in Entomology and Associate Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 35(15):375-477. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v35n15p375. May 1964.

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Bees of the genera Peponapis and Xenoglossa gather pollen exclusively from species of Cucurbita (squashes, gourds, pumpkins) and are represented in America north of Mexico by 11 species. The results of this study indicate that these bees are important and efficient pollinators. Since they are active before or shortly after sunrise, their role in the pollination of early morning flowering cucurbits has been poorly understood and scarcely appreciated. Nearly all species in the United States collect pollen from domestic as well as native species of Cucurbita, and in some instances their original distribution has been significantly altered following the development and introduction of domestic squashes by aboriginal man. The restriction of some of these bees to the pollen of certain species of Cucurbita suggests that the indigenous Cucurbita foetidissima may be involved in some way with the development of the domestic varieties by primitive man.

This study is a systematic revision of the bees of the genera Peponapis and Xenoglossa known to inhabit America north of Mexico and contains keys and descriptions for the identification of the species. Distributional, biological and synonymical data are provided together with discussions of the taxonomy and pollen sources of the species concerned.

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Linsley E, Hurd P. 1964. The squash and gourd bees—genera Peponapis Robertson and Xenoglossa Smith—inhabiting America north of Mexico (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Hilgardia 35(15):375-477. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v35n15p375
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