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The mouthparts of Ancyla and the reduction of the labiomaxillary complex among long-tongued bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

The short mouthparts of Ancyla oraniensis Lepeletier are described and illustrated for the first time, and are briefly compared with those of Tarsalia ancyliformis Popov. The other known genera of long-tongued bees with shortened proboscides are pointed out. In all of them the glossa has become shorter than the prementum and the galeal blade shorter than the stipes; the two basal segments of the labial palpi have been shortened and the posterior surface of the glossa has been exposed. These features make these labiomaxillary structures very similar to those of typical short-tongued bees. It is suggested that, for bees feeding exclusively in shallow flowers or in food stored in nests, there might be advantages in having the short-tongued type of mouthparts.

Affiliations: 1: F. A. Silveira, Department of Entomology and Snow Entomological Museum, Snow Hall, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 66045, U.S.A.


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