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A molecular phylogeny of the long-horned bees in the genus Melissodes Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Eucerinae)

journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-19, 05:49 authored by Karen W. Wright, Kelly B. Miller, Hojun Song
The genus Melissodes Latreille in the subfamily Eucerinae (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is a widespread and common group of bees. There are 129 described Melissodes species that range throughout the western hemisphere with the center of diversity in the warm deserts of southwestern North America. Despite its widespread nature and importance in agriculture, the evolutionary relationships among the species have never been investigated. Here, we present a molecular phylogeny using five loci for 89 species of Melissodes with representatives from all subgenera. We confirm all of the subgeneric delineations constructed by LaBerge, except for a paraphyletic M. (Tachymelissodes) and the placement of M. (Heliomelissodes), which renders M. (Eumelissodes) paraphyletic. We also discuss the unexpected placement of M. tristis Cockerell, M. paucipuncta LaBerge, M. dagosus Cockerell, and M. pexa LaBerge. Finally, we combine this analysis with previous data to support the placement of Melissodes within the subfamily Eucerinae.