Free Access
Volume 29, Number 3, 1998
Page(s) 265 - 281
Apidologie 29 (1998) 265-281
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19980306

Fossil honey bees and evolution in the genus Apis (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Michael S. Engel

Department of Entomology, Comstock Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Abstract - A partial revision is provided for some of the more well-known fossil honey bee species. Apis henshawi is diagnosed, the holotype described, and a complete taxonomic history presented. The following names are newly synonymized under A. henshawi: A. henshawi dormiens and A. aquisextana. A new species, A. vetustus sp. n., is recognized from Oligocene strata. Synapis petrefacta is officially transferred into the genus Apis (new combination) and A. fota and A. shandongica are placed into synonymy with A. miocenica (new synonymies). The authorship of A. melisuga is discussed and the name considered to be a nomen dubium. A phylogeny is proposed for Apis which incorporates the known fossil species and evolution in the genus discussed. No honey bees are known from before the Oligocene. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: Apis / Apoidea / Cenozoic / paleontology / phylogeny / taxonomy