Androulla I. Varnava , 1 , Stuart P.M. Roberts 2 , Denis Michez 3 , John S. Ascher 4 , Theodora Petanidou 5 , Stavroula Dimitriou 5 , Jelle Devalez 5 , Marilena Pittara 1 , Menelaos C. Stavrinides , 1
06 April 2020
Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, constitutes a biodiversity hotspot with high rates of plant endemism. The wild bees of the island were studied extensively by the native George Mavromoustakis, a world-renowned bee taxonomist, who collected extensively on the island from 1916 to 1957 and summarised his results in a series of eight Cyprus-specific papers published from 1949 [“1948”] to 1957. The current work represents the first modern checklist of the wild bees of Cyprus, based on a compilation of previous publications, museum specimens and authors’ recent collections. Overall, 369 verified wild bee species have been recorded on the island, with eleven species reported from Cyprus for the first time. The island hosts all six of the globally widespread bee families, with Apidae represented by 110 species, Megachilidae with 91, Andrenidae with 76, Halictidae with 72, Colletidae with 19, and Melittidae with 1. Twenty-one of the recorded bee species are endemic (i.e., 5.7 % endemism rate) and Cyprus ranks third after Lesvos and Sicily in known bee species richness among the Mediterranean islands. Previously unpublished records from various locations on Cyprus for 156 previously reported bee species are also provided in the study. The current work provides a baseline for future studies of wild bee diversity on the island of Cyprus and neighbouring regions.