Epeolus cruciger 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Hymenoptera Apidae

Scientific Name: Epeolus cruciger (Panzer, 1799)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-02-21
Assessor(s): Bogusch, P. & Straka, J.
Reviewer(s): Nieto, A. & Roberts, S.
Contributor(s): Radchenko, V.
Global and European regional assessment: Near Threatened (NT)
EU 27 regional assessment: Near Threatened (NT)

Listed as Near Threatened because although the area of occupancy (AOO) is unknown it is probably not much larger than 2,000 km2 and there is a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals, as this species was previously quite common in most of its distribution area, and recently has become rare or very rare in most countries; thus the species is close to qualifying as threatened under Criterion B2. Also its main host, Colletes succinctus has become rarer and heathlands, the most preferred biotope for this species, are very threatened across Europe.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widely distributed in Europe from south to north. However, most of the records are based on old findings. It is probably endemic to Europe. The extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) are unknown but the AOO is probably not much larger than 2,000 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Italy (Italy (mainland)); Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia, European Russia, North European Russia, South European Russia); Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part)); United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species was previously more abundant than it is recently and most countries have reported much lower numbers of captured individuals than before (Amiet et al. 2007 for Switzerland, P. Bogusch pers. comm. 2014 for the Czech Republic, S. Kaluza pers. comm. 2014 for Germany) and now is more rare than it used to be. The population trend is considered to be decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Epeolus cruciger inhabits sandy open biotopes and very often heathlands. This is a kleptoparasitic species, in that it parasitises the nests of other bee species. It attacks nests of Colletes succinctus, a species bound to Calluna vulgaris as its main provision source (Scheuchl 2000, Amiet et al. 2007). Populations attacking nests of Colletes marginatus at different biotopes (open sandy sites and postindustrial sites) were classified as separate species E. marginatus, which was mentioned as synonym to E. cruciger. Recently, some authors have considered it as a separate species (M. Kuhlmann pers. comm. 2013). Information about Colletes hederae as a host of E. cruciger (Amiet et al. 2007) is not trustworthy.

In addition, heathlands, the species most preferred biotope, are very threatened in the whole Europe.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not traded or exploited commercially.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat affecting the species is the significant decrease in the abundance of the main host (Colletes succinctus) of the species in southern and especially central Europe. The disappearance of the host species is due to the loss of heathlands through succession as well as afforestation and conversion of sandy sites into farmland. Thus, the previously very common Colletes succinctus and quite common Epeolus cruciger have become much rarer, and even extinct in some places. In the Czech Republic, both species are considered Critically Endangered: Colletes succinctus is now only known from six localities; E. cruciger was recorded recently at two localities after 40 years' absence (P. Bogusch and Jakub Straka  pers. comm. 2014).  
According to information from other researchers, the situation in Germany, Poland and Switzerland is similar. Populations invading nests of C. marginatus in Hungary are not strong but look stronger than those from the Czech Republic.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is considered Vulnerable in Germany and Switzerland and Critically Endangered in the Czech Republic (Amiet 1994, Farka─Ź et al. 2005, Westrich et al. 2011). It is not known if its distribution overlaps with protected areas throughout its range.

Citation: Bogusch, P. & Straka, J. 2014. Epeolus cruciger. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T19199398A21145588. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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