IDENTIFICATION PAGE # 2
Confirmed ID requests for April 22, 2019


FOR WILD BEES
OF THE NATIONAL BUTTERFLY CENTER

Mission, Texas

Diadasia tropicalis

Size:  7-8 mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC: 
Rio Grande Abutilon

(Abutilon hypoleucum)
Plant family:  Malvaceae

When seen:  April 2019  

Detailed Photographs: 

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This is a small male bee, 7-8 mm long, with a narrow body and narrow abdomen. We found several of these, feeding exclusively on Rio Grande Abutilon, in an area frequented last fall by female Diadasia ochracea.  T The bee has reddish legs and simple spurs on his hind legs.  The hairs on his abdomen are fairly uniform in length and don’t appear banded to the naked eye. (This particular individual bee had 2 submarginal cells on its wing - but maybe this was an aberration or a vein had been worn off?  Other male bees, which appeared to be identical and which were found on the same plant, had wings with  three submarginal cells.  )

Tetraloniella wilmattae


Size:  8 mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC: 
Resinbush

(Viguiera stenoloba)
Plant family:  Asteraceae

When seen:  April 2019  

We found many of these, feeding together on resinbush with male bees.  The male bees are the same as those we observed last fall that were identified then as Tetraloniella wilmattae.  (A male is shown in the photo strip at left.) The female bee has a dark labrum, and a narrow pale strip on the bottom rim of the clypeus.

Tetraloniella wilmatte long-horned bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Male Coelioxys slossoni


Size:  10 mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Skeleton-leaf goldeneye

(Viguiera stenoloba)
Plant family:  Asteraceae

When seen:  April 2019  

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This male bee was found foraging on skeleton-leaf goldeneye.  Female C. slossoni were found in the same area last fall.

Coelioxys slossoni - (c) Copyrigt 2019 Paula Sharp

Male bee

Coelioxys slossoni - (c) Copyrigt 2019 Paula Sharp

Melissodes opuntiellus


Size:  8 mm (female)

Detailed Photographs: 

This female bee was found, with many others, foraging on Texas prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii).   We found male Melissodes opuntiellus earlier in the spring, also feeding on prickly pear, in several different sites in the Mission-McAllen area.

This bee has entirely white hairs on the vertex and thorax; its scutum is pitted and largely bear of hairs on top.  All of the bands along its terga are white and continuous.  T-1 is hiny and unpitted.  The antenna are yellowish-born in front and dark behind; the scapes, pedicels and first two flagellar segments are dark. F-1 is long, and F-2 through F-9 are short, about as wide as they are long.

We can't find a description of this species anywhere.  We see it was named by Cockerell in 1911, but none of the 1911 Cockerell publications we've found mention Melissodes opuntiellus (opuntiella).  Are we looking in the wrong place?  

Mellisodes opuntiellus

(Small Black Bee
with black spots on its eyes
and long gold antennae)


Size:  6.5 mm (male)

Associated plants
Prickly Pear Cactus

(Opuntia engelmannii)
Plant family:  Cactaceae

When seen:  April 2019  

Detailed Photographs: 

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This is a small bee with a nearly hairless body and odd black spots on its upper compound eyes  We found two of these in a landscape dominated by prickly pear.   Both were relatively hairless.  Are these worn Melissodes opuntiella or something else?

 

What accounts for the odd eye pattern on this bee?  

ID's CONFIRMED  -  APRIL 15, 2019

Anthophorula compactula


Size:  7 mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Prickly Pear Cactus

(Opuntia engelmannii)
Twisted-rib cactus
(Thelocactus setispinus)

Plant family:  Cactaceae

When seen:  April 2019  

Detailed Photographs: 

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This female bee was found on twisted-rib cactus, together with male Anthophorula comptactula, in an area densely planted with prickly pear.  We found females on both prickly pear and twisted rib cactus.  The female bee shown here has two submarginal cells on each forewing and black hairs on the inside edges of each hind basitarsis.

WJPEG-Anthophorula-compactula-female-NBC

Female bee

Female bee

Triepeolus rufoclypeus


Size:  10 mm (female)

This Triepeolus bee was found digging into the blossoms of a prickly pear (Opuntia engelmanni).  Other bees nesting in the area and foraging on the cactus included Diadasia rinconis, Melissodes opuntiella, and Anthophorula compactula.

Associated plant at NBC:  
Found on Opuntia engelmannii

Plant family:  Cactaceae

When seen:  April 2019  

Detailed Photographs: 

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Triepeolus cuckoo bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

Triepeolus cuckoo bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

Megachile policaris


Size:  13-14 mm (female)

Associated plant
Texas thistle
(Cirsium texanum)

Plant family:  Asteraceae

When seen:  April 2019  

Detailed Photographs: 

This is a fairly large female leafcutter, 13-14 mm, with a long, slender body, dark wings and white scopal hairs, found feeding on Texas thistle.  The bee has 4 teeth in each jaw, with a cutting edge between the third and 2nd tooth. T6 that turns up and has a slight rim.  T-6 is entirely black, without white hairs; there are some black hairs on S6.  The bee’s lateral ocelli are much nearer to each other than to the back of the head..

Female bee

Female bee

CONFIRMED ID'S APRIL 6 - 15, 2019

Anthophorula compactula
Size:  5.5 mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Texas prickly pear

(Opuntia engelmannii)

March 2019  

Detailed Photographs: 

This is a small Anthophorula with thick white hair bands on its abdomen and
antennae that appear striped to the naked eye , when viewed from behind.  This was feeding on prickly pear with a group of other males.

Anthophorula Bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Male bee

Anthophorula Bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp
Anthophorula Bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

ID's CONFIRMED - April 12, 2019

Tepanec Long-horned Bee
Melissodes tepaneca


Size:  12 mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Retama

(Parkinsonia aculeata)

Plant family:  Fabaceae

When seen:

April 2019  

Detailed Photographs: 

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There were dozens of these feeding on a retama tree in early April at the National Butterfly Center.  Is this  M. tepaneca?  We saw M. tepaneca at the NBC in the fall, but the bees we are seeing now seem redder overall (especially the thorax hairs).

Female bee

Swenk's Colletes Bee
Colletes Swenki


Size:  11 mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Purple ground cherry

(Quincula lobata)

Plant family:  Solanaceae

When seen:

April 2019  

Detailed Photographs: 

This Colletes bee was found foraging energetically on purple ground cherry (Quincula lobata), a relative of physalis with the same tomatillo-like papery flower husks.    Could this be Colletes Willistoni?  This bee is listed in the Discover Life database as a Physalis pollinator. (In New York, Colletes latitarsis pollinates ground cherry -- but this bee is clearly not C. latitarsis.) 

Female bee

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Last updated November 2019

 1-15-19