Hesperocolletes douglasi Michener, 1965:75

Douglas’s broad-headed bee, Rottnest (Island) bee



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Last record: 9-12 November 1938

Rediscovered: 8 October 2015 (Pille Arnold et al., 2019)


This species was only known from a single specimen (a male) collected on Rottnest Island, off the coast of Western Australia, sometime between 9-12 November 1938. According to (Michener, 2000), the true collection locality may be somewhere else within Western Australia (the relevant text can be found here). However, Dr Terry Houston finds no reason to doubt the veracity of the specimen label (pers. comm., 31 March 2014).

PhD Candidate student Juliana Pille Arnold collected a female colletid bee on 8 October 2015 from c.15km west of Muchea (Pille Arnold et al., 2019). It was subsequently identified as H. douglasi by Dr. Terry Houston, former Curator of Entomology, Western Australian Museum. However, a subsequent visit to the collection site (remnant Banksia woodland) by Dr. Houston did not reveal any further specimens. More surveys, including at other localities, are planned for the future.



Muchea (c.15km west of Township) & Rottnest Island, Western Australia, Australia


Type locality (historical)

Rottnest Island is now a major tourist destination due to the native Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) population. As such major development has significantly reduced the suitable habitat for the species on the island. Furthermore, targeted searches on the island and nearby Garden Island failed to relocate the species (Pille Arnold et al., 2019). It is therefore probably extinct at the type locality.


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: WAM 38-2607 (male)

Type locality: Rottnest Island






Original scientific description:

Michener, Charles Duncan. (1965). A classification of the bees of the Australian and South Pacific regions. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 130: 1-362.


Other references:

Burbidge, Andrew A. (2004). Threatened animals of Western Australia. Department of Conservation and Land Management. pp. 145. ["The change in vegetation probably eliminated the food plants on which the native bee depended."]

DEC. (2011). "Western Australia's invertebrates". Available online: [Accessed 9 May 2011]

Houston, Terry F. (1991). Proposed addition deletion or change to the schedule of declared threatened or specially protected fauna or the reserve list. Hesperocolletes douglasi Michener (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Colletidae – short-tongued bees). Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth.

Houston, Dr. Terry F. (2014a). Personal communication date 31 March 2014, former Curator of Entomology, Western Australian Museum.

Houston, Terry F. (2014b). Native Bee – Presumed Extinct (Hesperocolletes douglasi Michener). WA Museum website, available from:

Michener, Charles Duncan. (2000). Bees of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press. 913 pp.

Pille Arnold, J., M.V. Murphy, R.K. Didham & Terry F. Houston (2019). Rediscovery of the ‘extinct’ bee Hesperocolletes douglasi Michener, 1965 (Colletidae: Colletinae: Paracolletini) in Western Australia and first description of the female. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(3): 13310-13319.

Taylor, G. S., Braby, M. F., Moir, M. L. et al. (2018). Strategic national approach for improving the conservation management of insects and allied invertebrates in Australia. Austral Entomology 57: 124-149.

Walker, K. (2010). Native douglasi colletine (Hesperocolletes douglasi) Pest and Diseases Image Library. Updated on 7/3/2010 11:01:43 PM. Available online:


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