IDENTIFICATION PAGE # 4
ID requests for April 30 - May 10


FOR WILD BEES
OF THE NATIONAL BUTTERFLY CENTER

Mission, Texas

Male Florilegus condignus?

Size:  11  mm  (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Teabush
(Melochia tomentosa)

Plant family:   Malvaceae

When seen:  May 2019  

Florilegus condignus long-horned bee - (c) Copyright  2019 Paula Sharp

Male bee

Florilegus condignus long-horned bee - (c) Copyright  2019 Paula Sharp

Male bee

Dozens of female bees like that shown here  appeared during the same week, and on the same plants, as the male bee shown above.   Similar bees recently have been identified on I Naturalist as female Florilegus condignus long-horned bees, e.g., https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/271527-Florilegus-condignus\

Female bee

Female bee

Female Florilegus condignus? 

Size:  12 mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Teabush
(Melochia tomentosa)

Plant family:   Malvaceae

When seen: May 2019  

Male Melissodes tepaneca?

Size:  11 mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Barbados cherry
(Malpighia emarginata)

Plant family:   Malpighiaceae

When seen: May 2019  

Male bee

Male Diadasia diminuta?

Size: 8 mm (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Teabush
(Melochia tomentosa)

Plant family:   Malvaceae

When seen: May 2019  

Detailed Photographs

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Male bee

Male bee on the head of a dime

Nomia - tetrazonata or fedorensis?

Size:   mm (female))

Associated plant at NBC:  


Berlandier's fiddlewood

(Citharexylum berlandieri)

Plant Family:  Verbenaceae

When seen:  April  2019  

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What is the difference between Nomia fedorensis and Nomia tetrazonata?  Does this turn on (1) the basitarsal integumental color (yellowish vs brown)?  (2) or on the size and shape of the produced end of the apical tibia?

 

You identified a Nomia for us in March (shown below left) as N. fedorensis.  That bee has distinctly yellow abdominal bands.  The one shown here has opalescent blue bands.  Otherwise they seem fairly similar.

Male bee

Below is the male bee you identified as Nomia fedorensis for us in April.  Its bands appear yellow (as opposed to blue, like the one featured above.)

Megachile (Megachiloides) 

Size:  14  mm (female))

Associated plant at NBC:  


Shrubby blue sage

(Salvia ballotiflora)

Plant family:   Lamiaceae

When seen:  May 2019  

This looks like a leafcutter in the subgenus Megachiloides.  Could it be M. deflexa or M. parksi?

The bee has a hefty build, and is medium large (14 mm) -- it has a robust build. The bee has a very straight clypeus, and mandibles with four teeth and a cutting edge between the top two teeth and absent between the second and third. T-6 is straight in profile. Scopal hairs are white, except on S6, which is covered with short, dark hairs. There are no white, appressed hairs on T6. The hind leg tibia has a fringe of orange hair, and the leg spur is golden-orange.

Female bee

Female bee

Associated plant at NBC:  


Shrubby blue sage

(Salvia ballotiflora)

Plant family:   Lamiaceae

When seen:  May 2019  

Small Megachile female - M. chichimeca?

Size:  9  mm (female))

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Below are images of the jaws and abdomen of a female Megachile exilis, for comparison.

This is a small  female leafcutter with a narrow abdomen.  The marginal cells of the bee's forewings are dark brown. The bee's jaws each have four teeth with a cutting edge between T3 and T4.  To the naked eye, this looks and behaves a little like a resin bee -- but its jaws are very different from those of M. exilis, found in the same area last fall.  A group of these small female leafcutters were seen feeding exclusively on shrubby blue salvia over a  three-day period in early May.

This bee was not in great shape when we found it -- its abdomen is a little worn, but it looks as if it probably has hairbands that are continues around the top of the abdomen.

Female 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

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

Close-up of thorax hairs