Overview

Distribution

endemic to a single nation

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Global Range: (Unknown) Even the historic range is uncertain. The records suggest three widely disjunct regions in four counties in central Colorado from 1906 to 1934, a very limited area in Utah in 1974 and 1975, and three collections, the last two in essentially the same place, in Mono and El Dorado Counties California in 1931, 1937, 1960. Kearns and Oliveras (2009) did not report this bee in their recent surveys around Boulder, Colorado, but they do not report its as expected either. It did occur in that county historically (Scott et al., 2011, Discover Life maps [1934]).

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Physical Description

Type Information

Type for Osmia mertensiae Cockerell, 1907
Catalog Number: USNM 536963
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology
Sex/Stage: Male;
Preparation: Pinned
Collector(s): S. Rohwer
Year Collected: 1907
Locality: Florissant, Colo., Colorado, United States
  • Type: 1907. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. Ser.7 20: 488.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: No information on habitat etc. The predominance of very old records suggests the habitat may have been one that had been greatly altered by the mid 20th century. One clue to the habitat is the species' name. Mertensia species tend to grow along mountain streams and the range of the bee is suggestive of Mertensia franciscana.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Although this bee was named for these plants, it cannot be assumed that it is a specialist on Mertensia. However, the distribution in California, Utah and Colorado but not farther north, suggests that of Mertensia franciscana. Krombein et al. (1979) indicate its pollen source is unknown, but the species visits flowers of Lappula floribunda and Mertensia.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: Unknown

Comments: The most recent collections mapped by Discover Life were in 1974 and 1975 in Utah.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NU - Unrankable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GU - Unrankable

Reasons: GU is assigned until it can be determined whether the Jackson County, Colorado record is recent. No others were more recent than 1974 and 1975 from Utah. If the Jackson county record is also old, the species would be globally historic. There would be very little basis to assign a rank other than GU if there are recent records. The paucity of nectaring records given by Krombein et al. (1979) suggests this species was hsitorically rare.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Unknown

Comments: No information on habitat etc. The predominance of very old records suggests the habitat may have been one that had been greatly altered by the mid 20th century. One clue to the habitat is the species' name. Mertensia species tend to grow along mountain streams and the range of the bee is suggestive of Mertensia franciscana.

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Global Short Term Trend: Unknown

Global Long Term Trend: Decline of 30-90%

Comments: Six of ten records mapped by Discover Life are pre-1950, three are from from 1974-1975. This is not the typical pattern for Osmia and suggests a real decline. Also, only three collections are from the well-collected Logan Utah area suggests the species is quite rare there. However, the records for Larimer and Jackson Counties in Colorado are not included on the Discover Life map and the years are unkniown.

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