Large bee with dark wings and bushy black legs

Size:  16 mm (female)

Associated plant:

Shruby blue salvia

Salvia balllotiflora

Family:   Laminaceae

When seen:  June 16, 2021
El Mesteno Ranch, NW Hidalgo Co.

Female bee, Mesteno Ranch, NW Hidalgo Co.
Female bee, Mesteno Ranch, NW Hidalgo Co.

Alternate view of bee

Dorsal view of thorax

Close-up of thorax and vertex

WJPEG-Anthophora-F-2-NBC-#422-salvia-bal

female bee

female bee

Melitoma taurea 

Size:  11 mm (female)

Associated plant:

Esperanza

Tecoma stans

Family:   Bignoniaceae

When seen:  June 12, 2021
Falcon Park, Starr County

Female bee, Falcon State Park, Starr County
Female bee, Falcon State Park, Starr County

This bee has a rubenesque build.

Face of bee: the bee's clypeus is black, and it lacks orange facial hair. The hairs on its vertex are light-and-dark intermixed.

Dorsal view of bee

Close-up of thorax hair pattern: this pattern differs from that on the he thorax of M. marginella. It is made up mostly of dark and gray hairs, with some pale rust-brown hairs in front.

This Falcon State Park  Melitoma is much heftier the female Melitoma marginella that are common in Mission, and it lacks their bright orange facial hair.  The pattern of hairs on this Starr County bee's thorax is also different.  Is Melitoma taurea  was found this far south in Texas?

 

For convenience and comparison, below the photos of this Falcon Park  bee are pictures of a Melitoma marginella you identified for us two years ago.

WJPEG-Melitoma-profile-NBC-#418-Esperanz

female bee

Below are photos of female and male Melitoma marginella from Mission, taken two years ago.

A female melitoma marginella

A typical female Melitoma marginella, with rust-orange facial and vertex hair. This bee has a less robust build than the Falcon Park bee.

Close-up of face of a female Melitoma marginella.

A male Melitoma marginella from Misson.

Male bee inside flower.

Latteral view, showing yellowish tinge of abdominal bands. (Cresson noted that this trait helped distinguish M. marginella from M. taura, whose pale abdominal bands are always white.)

Dieunomia nevadensis bakeri

Size:  9 mm (female)

Associated plant:

Hoary black-foot daisy
Melampodium cinereum

Family:  Asteraceae

When seen:  June 12, 2021
Falcon Park, Starr County

Female bee, Falcon Park, Starr County
Female bee, Falcon Park, Starr County

Dorsal view

Close-up of vertex and thorax

Frontal view

Close-up of face: the apical edge of the clypeus is straight.

female bee

female bee

ID:  Diadasia rinconis

Size:  10 mm (male)

Associated plant:

Esperanza

Tecoma stans

Family:   Bignoniaceae

When seen:  June 12, 2021
Falcon Park, Starr County

Male Diadasia bees like this have been a common sight feeding on esperanza  in Falcon park since May.   To me, the male looks similar to Diadasia rinconis I've seen in Mission, but its hairs are paler, and the projection on the hind leg of each basitarsus is different -- on this male bee, it is black and not as enlarged as on D. rinconis I photographed in Mission.  For comparison and convenience, I've posted below photos of a D. rinconis you identifed  two years ago.

 

 FEMALE:   A female bee found near the male on the same esperanza plant is shown at the bottom of this page.

Male Bee, Falcon Park, Starr Co.
Male Bee, Falcon Park, Starr Co.

The bee's mandibles are dark at the base.

Rear view

Close-up of abdomen from rear

Close-up of T3-T5, from the side

Male Diadasia bee from Starr County

Male Diadasia bee from Starr County

Below are photos of a male Diadasia rinconis from Mission, taken two years ago. The projections on its hind-leg basitarsi are different.

Diadasia rinconis from Misison.
Diadasia rinconis from Misison.

Protrusion on hind leg.

Face of a male Diadasia rinconis.

ID:  Diadasia rinconis

Size:  11 mm (female)

Associated plant:

Esperanza

Tecoma stans

Family:   Bignoniaceae

When seen:  June 12, 2021
Falcon Park, Starr County

Female Diadasia, Falcon Park, Starr Co.
Female Diadasia, Falcon Park, Starr Co.

Dorsal view

Alternate view of bee

Alternate view of bee

Rear view: the inner hairs on the bee's lower hind legs are reddish, and the tibial spurs somewhat curved at the tips.

This female Diadasia was feeding near the male shown above on esperanza.

female bee