Calliopsis  hondurasica

Size:  7 mm (female) 

Associated plant:


Wavy fiddleleaf Nama

(Nama undulatum)

Plant family:  Boraginaceae

When seen:  April 27, 2021

McAllen, TX

Female bee

Close-up of forewing

This was one of many of these bees feeding on a patch of Nama -- some show this facial variation, with extra dots between the central and outer white patches. I'm assuming this is the same species? And that there are small variations like this among females within a given Calliopsis species?

WJPEG-Calliopsis-NBC-#356-Nama-hispidum-

Female bee

There were many of these female bees feeding in the morning on a patch of Nama.  I did not find any on the surrounding flowers, which included various asters and salvias.

The females showed some small variations in facial markings, but appeared otherwise identical.

Is there a rule of thumb for telling male Perdita from Calliopsis?

Perdita ignota 

Size:  4.5  mm  (female)

          3.5   mm (male)

Associated plant:


Lazydaisy

(Aphanostephus ramosissimus)

Plant family:  Asteraceae

When seen:  April 27, 2021

McAllen, TX

Female bee

Female bee

Female bee - facial markings

Female bee

Abdomen of female bee

Male bee -- the bee's lower legs are almost entirely pale.

The male bee's abdomen lacks pale spots, but its terminal segment is yellowish.

WJPEG-Perdita-ignota-F-NBC-#358-dozy-dai

Female bee

WJPEG-Perdita-ignota-M-MNC-Dozedaisy-293

Male bee

The female and male bees shown here were found feeding on lazydaisy (Aphanostephus ramosissimus).   Both have milky wings and dark bodies.  The  female has bluish-white markings on its face, two pale broken bands on T2 and T3 its abdomen, and two small spots on T4.  The male resembles the female, but  the male's lower legs are entirely pale yellow, and it lacks pale spots on the abdomen, which is entirely dark brown, except for the last segment, which is yellowish.  The male's pale facial markings are less extensive than the female's.

SPECIES BELOW WERE IDENTIFIED APRIL 27, 2021

 ID'd April 27 as Osmia chalybea

(clypeal process weakly emarginate & has

deeply infuscated wings)

Osmia texana?  

Size:  12 mm  (female)

Associated plant:


Texas thistle

(Circsium texanum)

Plant family:  Asteraceae

When seen:  April 24, 2021

Mission, TX

Female bee

Vertex

WJPEG-Osmia-texana-F-monstering-NBC-#351

Female bee

Female bee

Osmia chalybea is common on thistles where I live in North Florida.  This bee looks a lot like O. chalybea, but it seems too small for that species (12 mm vs. 15 or more).  Is Osmia texana the likely diagnosis?  There were several of these feeding on thistles at the Butterfly Center.

NOTE: This reminds me of the Calliopsis andreniformis I used to see in New York, but this bee is considerably smaller and its abdomen has spots on it instead of bands.  This male bee is from the same patch of Nama where I found a female Perdita sexmaculata / missionis last spring.  Is this a male Perdita sexmaculata / missionis?  Or is it a kind of Calliopsis?  I am seeing females of some kind of Calliopis in the area, but they are 6-7 mm, twice the size of the bee here and striped rather than spotted.

ID'd April 27 as Perdita missionis

(which has a preference for Nama)

Calliopsis or
Perdita sexmaculata / missionis?

Size:  3 mm (male)

Associated plant:


Bristly Nama

(Nama hispidum)

Plant family:  Hydrophyllaceae

When seen:  April 24, 2021

McAllen, TX

Male bee

ID confirmed April 27 -  Andrena miserabilis

Andrena miserabilis?

Size:  12 mm  (female)

Associated plant:

Honey mesquite

(Prosopis glandulosa)

Plant family:  Fabaceae

When seen:  April 25, 2021
Mission, TX

The bee has a broad face, with a clypeus that is shiny and unpitted (except on the outer edges). It has relatively long, wide patches of facial foveae hair.

Dorsal view

Vertex & facial foveae

WJPEG-Andrena-miserabilis-F-3-dorsal-NBC

Female bee

Two years ago, you identified a female Andrena miserabilis found nearby the site where this one appeared -- an old, overgrown cactus grove in the middle of a scrubby woodland consisting of mostly honey locust trees.  There are some retama trees in the area, but no wildflowers or other flowering trees within sight. There is a small aggregation of Andrena nests in a hard-packed dirt trail that runs through the cactus grove.

This is a relatively small (9 mm)  female Andrena. It has a smooth (shiny, relatively unpitted) clypeus. (It is pitted only on the sides.)  The bee has a square/slightly broad face.  Its vertex is short – its ocelli are less than an ocellus width from the back of the vertex. Its foveae are fairly long (from the antennal socket to the top of the clypeus) and of moderate width.  The scutum is sparsely-haired in the middle. The hair bands on the abdomen (including T2) are complete. 

 ID'd April 27 as
Megachile (Chelostomoides) texensis

Hoplitis

Size:  9.5 mm  (female)

Associated plant:

(Honey mesquite & Guajillo  in bloom in area; bee found flying low over ground in tract with sandy soil covered with scattered wood debris).

When seen:  April 26, 2021
Teniente Tract , near Lasara TX, by
Hidalgo County / Willacy Co. border

Female bee

Vertex & dorsal view of pointed protrusion

Front view of face and jaws

Close-up of lower face and jaws

WJPEG-Ashmeadiella-F-1dorsal-NBC-#355-Gu

Female bee

This one really stumps me.  It has a bulky head, a long vertex and long, prominent jaws.  It also has a  triangular, pointed protrusion in the middle of its face.  From the side, the protrusion looks horn-like.  The bottom edge of the bee's clypeus has two small knobs on it.

The bee was flying low over the ground in a gas pipeline right-of-way covered with low scrub vegetation.  The soil was sandy and strewn with wood debris.  Few flowers were in bloom in the area, but a scrub woodland of honey mesquite and guajillo trees lined the access way.