My primary taxonomic work in Perdita involves the subgenus Heteroperdita. Heteroperdita contains 22 species of minute, colorful bees that are all specialized on the pollen of the plant genus Tiquilia (Boraginaceae). In the revision (published in the journal Zootaxa), nine new species are described, one new synonym is proposed, and all 22 species are described and figured. In the future, I hope that I will be able to continue work on this group in order to understand the evolutionary relationships between the different species, and particularly how so many species can co-occur on the same host plants.
Other Perdita projects
In addition to my work on Heteroperdita, I have revised the monotypic subgenus Xeromacrotera. The lone member of this subgenus, Perdita cephalotes, was first described in 1878 and was known only from the male sex. In this work, I identified the female of this species and clarified multiple questions on its morphology and biology.
I am also currently working on a revision of the following subgenera: Allomacrotera and Procockerellia, Perditella, and Glossoperdita. In addition, I am working on a key to the Perdita subgenera and major species groups. Please contact me if you would like to see the current version.
The bee genus Perdita (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae) is the largest bee genus in North America, with over 630 described species, over 100 additional subspecies, and numerous undescribed species. Most of the taxonomic work on this genus was done by P.H. Timberlake from 1928–1980, and little taxonomic work has been done since. My goal is to update the taxonomy of the genus by describing new species, synonymizing duplicate species, and organizing the 17 subgenera.