On behalf of David Baldock, UK, I post this call for co-operation:
Portugal is one of the most under-recorded countries in Europe for aculeate Hymenoptera. The most recent list of bees was published as long ago as 1960 by M.A. Diniz and this contained only 140 species; most of his records were from around Lisbon and Coimbra where he worked in the University. Since then there have been only a handful of papers on bees of Portugal although some Spanish papers have referred to Portuguese records. There seems to be no active aculeate recording by any Portuguese at present.
I have been visiting the Algarve every spring for the last ten years and Jan Smit, a member from Holland, collected there in May 2004. We therefore decided that there was a need for a provisional list of bees and have started to compile this. Jan has been trawling through numerous papers for Portuguese records and with our own records we already have a list of over 500 species. The Algarve should have a very similar bee fauna to that of neighbouring Andalucia which has a list of about 600. The whole of Spain probably has about 1200 or more bee species but many of these are montane, from the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa; Portugal does not have any high mountains and is a much smaller country so the total number of species is likely to be considerably less than this. The fauna is interesting as it includes many North African species and probably quite a few Iberian endemics.
We have heard of a few people who have collected bees in Portugal but we would like to hear from members who have any records, especially those from the north of the country or those collected in summer and autumn. Portugal is a favoured holiday destination and there must surely be some members who have been there on holiday and may have collected a few bees, or even wasps. We are hoping to compile a list of wasps after we have finished the bees. Some members may know of Portuguese bees in Museum or University collections.
Would any members please contact me if they have, or know of, any records from Portugal.
David Baldock, Nightingales, Haslemere Road, Milford, Surrey GU8 5BN
E-mail address to be found here:http://www.bwars.com/Contact_BWARS.htm