Introduced and Alien Bee Species of North America (North of Mexico)

Science Center Objects

Surveys by the USGS Native Bee Laboratory have uncovered several new alien bee species in the United States.  The data we and our collaborators are collecting tracks the spread of these species, at least in a coarse way.  We hope to expand surveys in collaboration with our federal and state land management partners as we detect more invading species. Information on distributions and status of the approximately 40 alien species come from the literature, active North American collectors, online collection data available via the Global Mapper on www.discoverlife.org, and John Ascher’s compilation of distributional data.  Thanks for the contributions from Mike Arduser, John Ascher, Rob Jean, Jack Neff, Cory Sheffield, and Robbin Thorp.

Account Layout: I = purposely introduced, A = accidental introduction or possibly natural colonization (although this would be unlikely for most), Genus, Species, Decade of Establishment, Probable Source Population, Current Status in North America north of Mexico

Colletidae

  • A Hylaeus leptocephalus 1900.  Europe.  Found throughout the U.S. and southern Canada.  Particularly associated with gardens, urban and disturbed sites.  Often found on Melilotus (sweetclover).
  • A Hylaeus hyalinatus 1990. Europe.  Currently found in urban areas from New York City, southern Ontario, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.  Has potential to spread throughout North America.
  • A Hylaeus punctatus 1980.  Europe.  Currently found in central California, Mid-Atlantic states, Ontario, Chicago region, Denver area.  Has potential to spread throughout North America.
  • A near Hylaeus (Prosopisvariegates 1990.  North Africa.  Currently detected only in the Greater New York City region, the exact species name is unclear but being pursued.

Andrenidae

  • Andrena wilkella 1900s.  Europe and northern Asia.  Common throughout the north-central and northeastern United States and southern Canada.

Halictidae

  • A Lasioglossum eleutherense 1990.  Bahamas and Cuba.  Four individuals found in the University of Miami Arboretum and a recent specimen from Biscayne National Park.  Not expected to spread outside of Florida.
  • A Lasioglossum leucozonium 1900s.  Europe and northern China.  Despite its extensive range in Europe and Asia it is limited to the northern areas of central and eastern United States and southern Canada.  Molecular work indicates that actual introduction could have been significantly earlier than 1900 when first detected.
  • A Halictus tectus 2000.  Southern Europe to Mongolia.  Currently known only from Philadelphia, PA, and the Baltimore, MD/Washington, DC region.  Appears to prefer highly disturbed sites with European weeds.
  • Lasioglossum zonulum?.  Europe and SE China.  A species similar to L. leucozonium.  Recently thought to possibly be an introduced rather than a native species.  Records in North America go back many years.

Megachilidae

  • A Anthidium manicatum 1960.  Europe, North Africa, Near East, south-central and southeastern South America.  Currently found predominantly in northeastern United States, upper Midwest, and southern Canada, however, now established in the central Rockies and the West Coast where it is well established in California.  Likely to spread throughout North America.  Associated with large urban and suburban gardens, particularly planted with Stachys (hedgenettle).
  • A Anthidium oblongatum 1990.  Europe and the Near East.  Currently common in northeastern United States and southern Canada and moving into the central states and provinces, scattered records now exist for Colorado and Washington state.  Found in most open habitats.  Has potential to spread throughout North America.
  • Chelostoma campanularum 1960.  Europe and the Near East.  Found in Upstate New York, Connecticut, and southern Ontario.  Has potential to spread throughout northern North America.
  • A Chelostoma rapunculi 1960.  Europe and the Near East.  Found in Upstate New York and southern Ontario.  Has potential to spread throughout northern North America.
  • A Coelioxys coturnix 2000.  Southwestern Europe, North Africa, India.  Currently found in the Baltimore, MD/Washington, DC corridor west to southern Pennsylvania and Allegany County, MD and also recorded in southern New England.  Has potential to spread throughout the range of Megachile rotundata (its presumed host).
  • Heriades truncorum 2010.  Europe and the Near East.  Two females and a male found in Washington County, MD in 2013.  A common and spreading hole-nester in at least parts of Europe, should be watched for in trap nests throughout North America.
  • A Hoplitis anthocopoides 1960.  Europe.  Uncommonly found from West Virginia and Maryland to southern Ontario.  Potential spread perhaps limited to the range of its reported preferred pollen source, Common Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare).
  • Lithurgus chrysurus 1970.  Europe, Near East, North Africa. Found in the Phillipsburg, NJ area and a 50-mile radius in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but in 2011 noted well to the west near State College, PA.  Until 2007 there were no recent records, but perhaps due to no one making an effort to look.  Apparently oligolectic on Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos) and burrows into wood to make a nest.  This species has the potential to be much more destructive than Xylocopa virginica to wooden buildings.  Noted nesting in old firewood piles, timber frame covered bridges, and in wooden shingles.
  • A Megachile apicalis 1930.  Europe, North Africa, Near and Middle East.  Western and eastern United States.  Relatively few records in the East but widespread in California and parts of the Pacific Northwest where it specializes on Yellow Star-thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)and is often moved around with Megachile rotundata pollinator tubes.
  • A Megachile concinna 1940.  Africa.  West Indies, Mexico, uncommon throughout the southern and western United States.
  • Megachile ericetorum 2000.  Europe, Near East, China.  Now established in southern Ontario and recent records from Rochester, NY.  Should be expected to spread.
  • A Megachile lanata 1700-1800.  India and China.  Introduced into the West Indies and northern South America where it possibly made its way secondarily to Florida.  Found throughout much of Florida but not likely to spread farther unless it is brought to the southwestern deserts.
  • A Megachile rotundata 1920-1940.  Europe to China.  Common throughout North America to northern Mexico.  Available commercially, used in alfalfa seed production.
  • A Megachile sculpturalis 1990.  Far eastern China, Korea, Japan.  Eastern and central United States, Colorado, and southern Canada.  May move throughout the continent as they use widely planted, introduced summer blooming leguminous trees and shrubs.
  • A Osmia caerulescens 1800s.  Europe, North Africa, Near East, India.  Northeastern and Northcentral United States and southern Canada.  Appears to be less common than it once was, at least towards the south.  Few recent records for the Mid-Atlantic area despite a great deal of collecting, but still common in upstate New York.
  • Osmia cornifrons 1960.  Eastern China, Korea, and Japan.  Introduced to pollinate tree fruit crops.  Feral populations established in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, with some establishment noted for the Pacific Northwest.  Available commercially.
  • I Osmia cornuta 1980.  Europe, North Africa, Near East.  Introduced as a pollinator of tree fruit crops in California, but its establishment has not been documented.
  • A Osmia taurus 2000.  Eastern China, Japan.  Mid-Atlantic area and Appalachian Mountains, spreading north and south.  Males in particular are very similar to O. cornifrons and may be confused.  Appears to be rapidly spreading and often abundant.
  • Pseudoanthidium nana 2000.  Europe and the Near East.  Currently detected in New York, NY, Baltimore, MD, and western Maryland.  So far, only found in the most industrial, disturbed, and urban sites.

Apidae

  • I Apis mellifera  1620.   Originally from northern Europe, later more from Mediterranean region.  Feral colonies present throughout North America.  Colony numbers and persistence recently have declined following the introduction of parasitic mites in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • I Anthophora plumipes  1980.  Europe and southern China.  Introduced at the USDA Beltsville, MD Honey Bee Laboratory.  Numbers were initially low, but this species is now found commonly in early spring throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area where it nests in the ground under porches or in the dirt of uprooted trees and frequents planted azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) and other garden flowers.  Records now exist for Frederick County, MD and nearby Pennsylvania and spread from there is expected.  This species has the potential to spread throughout North America.
  • Anthophora villosula - A recent introduction into the Mid-Atlantic states, this species loves urban areas where, in the spring,  it nests under people's decks and in upturned root masses while foraging among the local gardens and, in particular, azalea plantings.
  • A Ceratina cobaltina 1970. Mexico. While it is possible this is simply a disjunct Texas population, specimens for this distinctive Mexican species were only recently discovered in Travis and Hidalgo Counties, TX.
  • A Ceratina dallatorreana 1940. Mediterranean region.  Central California.
  • I Ceratina smaragdula 1960.  Pakistan, India, SE Asia.  Introduced into California but not found since its introduction, however abundant in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • A Centris nitida 2000.  Southwestern United States, Texas, Mexico, Central America and northwestern South America.  Recently discovered in southern Florida.  Not expected to spread outside of Florida.
  • A Euglossa dilemma 2000.  Mexico and Central America.  Recently discovered in southern Florida.  Currently found only on the eastern side of the state.  Expected to spread to the western side but not invade much further north.
  • I? near Plebeia frontalis 2010.  Mexico, Central America, South America. One colony detected in Palo Alto in 2013 that has remained active until the writing of this account (November, 2015).  Could possibly spread down the coast of California.  Population status is unclear and the exact species is not known either.
  • Xylocopa appendiculata 2010. Japann and China.  One specimen collected in 2012 and another photographed in 2013 in San Jose, California. Populations status is unclear.
  • A Xylocopa tabaniformis parkinsoniae 1990.  South Texas.  Recently appears to have left its historical haunts along the Rio Grande and now found commonly in urban areas of Central Texas, perhaps translocated there via firewood, but possibly colonized naturally.