1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To produce a phylogenetic framework for the bee family Megachilidae, a generic/subgeneric framework for the tribe Anthidiini (carder and resin bees), revise the largest genera of this tribe, and develop a web-based digital library of the results. Revisions of important pollinators in the family Megachilidae adn their cleptoparasites will be produced. Web-based identification guides for the Anthidiini will be produced to aid pollination research.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
A combined molecular and morphological analysis of relationships across the family Megachilidae and within the tribe Anthidiini will be used to develop well supported phylogenies. Revisionary studies at the species level will utilize standard systematic methodologies. Web-based keys will be generated using existing software (e.g. Lucid, DiscoverLife) that are well illustrated using close-up images generated with imaging software.
3. Progress Report:
The bee family Megachilidae (resin, carder, leafcutter, and mason bees) includes most of the managed pollinators other than honey bees. To better utilize the pollination potential of this large and diverse family of bees a stable classification as an essential precursor to revisionary studies that define the species and characterize their biological traits. Emphasis in this project is on the classification of the family, and revisions of many of the genera of carder and resin bees (tribe Anthidiini). A family tree for Megachilidae using molecular data from multiple genes has been produced. Revisionary work on the largest, and the most broadly distributed, genus in this group (Anthidium) has been completed for the Western Hemisphere, providing species accounts summarizing biological and distributional information, and a key to recognize the 92 species, 21 of them new to science. A phylogenetic analysis of the entire family Megachilidae that includes fossil taxa has revealed new relationships resulting in the designation of a new tribe of bees. New North American species of the cleptoparasitic genus Stelis that parasitize mason bees have been described. Specimen record data from 31 museums has been captured for the carder bees of the genus Anthidium. Web-based keys for the North American genera Anthidium and Dianthidium have been developed. Monitoring activities include telephone calls, email communication and discussions at professional meetings.