Scientific Name: Epeoloides pilosulus
Other/Previous Names: Epeoloidespilosula
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
Range: Nova Scotia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2011
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
The Macropis cuckoo bee, Epeoloides pilosulus (Cresson), is the only North American member of a genus that contains two species, the other being found in the Old World. Epeoloides is the only genus of the tribe Osirini (Apidae, Apinae) found in both the New and Old World, the remaining genera are otherwise restricted to the Neotropics. All Osirini are cleptoparasites (i.e., cuckoos), thought to have oil-collecting bees as hosts, many of them are rare. Cleptoparasitic bee females sneak into the nests of their hosts and lay eggs on the food provision collected by the host bee. The egg or larva of the host bee is killed by the cleptoparasite.
This species is a habitat specialist, requiring both a suitable host (Macropis bees) and their host’s foodplant. The foodplant requires moist habitat and the host bee requires sunny, sandy slopes for its nest site. Historically in Canada, this species was known from six sites across five provinces. Despite recent increases in bee surveying activity nationwide, it has been found in Canada only once in the past fifty years and has not been seen again at this locality or nearby despite recent extensive searches. With only one location and a predicted continuing decline in habitat area and quality, this species is at imminent risk of extinction.
Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”.
COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.
As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.
Please submit your comments by
February 8, 2012 for species undergoing normal consultations
November 8, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.