IDENTIFICATION PAGE # 3
Confirmed ID requests for April 25 - 28, 2019


FOR WILD BEES
OF THE NATIONAL BUTTERFLY CENTER

Mission, Texas

1. Female Melitoma marginella


Size:  10  mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Esperanza

(Tecoma stans)

Plant family:   Bignoniaceae

When seen:  November, 2018 (males only)April 2019  

Photographs of Female: 

Female Melitoma marginella found on esperanza, with many males.   We identified male Melitoma marginella in the same area last fall, also on esperanza. (Photographs of male bee are below.) What are the leathery brown pounches on the female's legs?

Melitoma marginella bee female - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

Melitoma marginella bee female - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

These are photos of the male bee, from last fall.

2. Male Anthophora capistrata


Size:  12-13  mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Associated plants at NBC: 
Shrubby blue sage

(Salvia ballotiflora)

Plant family:   Lamiaceae

When seen:   April 2019  

This male bee and the female shown below were chasing one another and around two interlocked bushes, a shrubby blue salvia and a Duranta erecta.

Male bee

3. Female Melissodes tristis
 

Size:  11  mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Shrubby blue sage

(Salvia ballotiflora)

Plant family:   Lamiaceae

When seen:   April 2019  

To the naked eye, this bee looks snowy-white, with bright blue eyes.  The vertex and thorax of the bee are covered with entirely light hairs.  The bee's hind legs have strips of dark hair on the inner surfaces.

Female bee

WJPEG-Melissodes-F-facing-left-NBC-#208-

Female bee

4. Female Svastra petulca
 


Size:  16  mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Cowpen Daisy

(Verbesina encelioides)
Plant Family: Asteraceae

When seen:   April 2019  

This bee was found in a sunflower patch, feeding on cowpen daisy.  We thought it was Svastra obliqua, but when we put it through the Discover Life database key for Svastra, the bee came up Svastra petulca -- as a result of the pattern of bands on the abdomen.  The bee has bright orange scopal hairs on its inner hind legs.

Female bee

5. Male Svastra petulca
 

Size:  14-15  mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Mexican hat

(Ratibida Columnifera)

Plant family:   Asteraceae

When seen:   April 2019  

This bee is a little weather-beaten.  It was feeding exclusively and energetically on Mexican hat, a plant most large bees seem to ignore, because it makes such as terrible landing pad.

The bee was not found in close proximity to the Svastra female shown above -- it was in a different section of the National Butterfly Center, about 100 yards away.

 

Could this bee Svastra obliqua?  S. obliqua is a documented pollinator of Rabatida.

WJPEG-Mystery-Bee-facing-left-HOSS-PIC-M

Male bee

6. Diadasia diminuta
 

Size:  6.5  mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Rio Grande abutilon

(Abutilon hypoleucum)

Plant family:   Malvaceae

When seen:   April 2019  

This is the smallest Diadasia we've seen.  There are many of these (all female) visiting Rio Grande abutilon exclusively.  (This is the dominant variety of mallow currently in bloom at the NBC).​ The faint banding on the bee's abdomen is distinctive. The hairs on the bee's head, thorax and abdomen are all white.  The inner tibial hairs are dark.

7. Male Diadasia enavata
 

Size:  12  mm (female); 13 mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  
Common sunflower

(Helianthus annuus)

Cowpen Daisy
( Verbesina encelioides)

Plant family:   Asteraceae

When seen:   April 2019  

Female bee

Male and female bees of the kind shown below showed up in large numbers in a  patch of  sunflowers during the third week of April.  These Diadasia are large, usually 12-14 mm.  They are  more of a reddish-gold than other smaller Diadasia also out at this time.  The hind spur on the female bee's hind tibia is straight.  The male bee has a long face.

Male bee

Male bee

Male bee

Confirmed Identifications May 1, 2019

Female Anthophora californica

Size:  12  mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  


Shrubby blue sage

(Salvia ballotiflora)

Plant family:   Lamiaceae

Pigeonberry

(Duranta directa)

Plant family:   Verbenaceae

When seen:   April 2019  

Photographs of Female: 

This is a female Anthophora, found patrolling two bushes, a Duranta erecta, and a blue salvia.  We have found numerous male Anthophora californica flying around the same plants, both last fall and during this April.  We also found a single specimen of a male Anthophora capistrata (which you identified) flying back and forth between the same two bushes a few days ago..

This seems to be A. californica?  It measures about 12 cm.  The white bands on the bee’s abdomen appear to be created by white integument rather than white hairs.  The bee’s face, including clypeus, jaws, etc., is entirely dark; its eyes are brilliant green.  The jaws are reddish-brown at the base.  The outer hairs on the bee’s hind legs are white; the inner ones are dark.  The hair on the bee’s vertex and thorax is mostly white, with some intermixed dark hairs.

WJPEG-Anthophora-californica-female-gree

Female bee

Female bee

Male Hylaeus modestus

Size:  5.5  mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  


Low croton
(Croton humilis)

Plant family:    Euphorbiaceae

When seen:   April 2019  

Photographs of Female: 

Show more.

Male bee

Male bee

3. Augochlora aurifera

Size:  5.5  mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  


Cowpen daisy
(Verbesina encelioides)

Plant family:    Asteraceae

When seen:   April 2019  

Photographs of Female: 

Male bee

Permissions and Copyright Information:   All images on this site are (c) Copyright 2018-2019 Paula Sharp and Ross Eatman.  All rights reserved. All photographs are protected by registered copyright.  Please contact Sharp-Eatman Nature Photography for written permission before using any of these images for any purpose. 

Last updated November 2019

 1-15-19