IDENTIFICATION PAGE # 6
ID requests for October 26, 2019


WILD BEES OF THE NATIONAL BUTTERFLY CENTER
Mission, Texas


Confirmed ID Requests for Oct 28

ID's have been confirmed for the species below

Texas Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee  (male)

Coelioxys  texanus

Family:  Megachildae

Size:  11 mm  (male)

          14 mm (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Mexican hat

(Rabatida columnifera)
Family: Asteraceae

When seen:  October 2019  

Hunter's cuckoo leafcutte bee - Coelioxys hunteri - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

male bee

Vertex, scutum & scutellum

The antennal scapes and pedicels of this bee are black.

Hunter's cuckoo leafcutte bee - Coelioxys hunteri - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Male bee

Male Exomalopsis simiilis

Exomalopsis similis

Family:  Apidae

Size:  4-5 mm  (male)

Associated  plant at NBC:  

Seaside goldenrod

Solidago sempervirens
(Family Asteraceae)

When found:

October 2019

Exomalopsis simiis bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Male bee

Male bee

This is a small male Exomalopsis, between 5-6 mm.

Male Exomalopsis: the bee has dark tegulae, a dark abdomen striped with pale hairs and a yellowish tuft of hair at the back of the abdomen.

Rear view of male bee

Face of male bee

Exomalopsis similis bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Male bee

Photostrip of female E. similis
found last year is below.

This is a female Exomalopsis similis. The patch of bright orange hairs on the back of the bee's thorax is visible even to the naked eye, and aids in identifying this species in the wild.

A female Exomalopsis similis on the head of a dime: this is the smallest of the four Exomalopsis bees shown here.

Face of a female Exomalopsis similis

Below is a female Exomalopsis similis that you identified for us last year.

The individual female bee shown below measured  6-7 mm.

Exomalopsis similis (female) - (c) Copyright 2018 Paula Sharp

HERIADES:  We think this might be Heriades variolosa because:  This female bee lacks the carina on the jaw found on H. carinata, and this bee's wings are not dark like those of H. leavitti.  The pits on T1 and T2 are finer than those on T3.  We ran this through the Discover Life database key, and also used the key provided here:  Michener, Charles D. “Records and Descriptions of North American Megachilid Bees.”  Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, vol. 27, no. 2, 1954, pp. 65–78 at  68.

Heriades (Neotrypetes) variolosa

Family:  Halictidae

Size: 7 mm  (female)

Associated  plant at NBC:  

Spanish needles

Bidens alba
(Family Asteraceae)

When found:

October 2019

Heriades - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

The bee's ocelli are relatively small

Dorsal view of abdomen: The pits on T1 and T2 are finer and more closely-spaced than those on T3.

Additional view of abdomen

Additional view of pits on abdomen

Forewing of bee: the bee's wings are clear at the base and a very light-brown at the tip.

Heriades - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

Nomada texana (female)

Family:  Apidae

Size: 11 mm  (female)

Associated  plants at NBC: 

Seaside goldenrod
Solidago sempervirens

Spanish needles

Bidens alba
(Family Asteraceae)

When found:

October 2019

Nomada vegana cuckoo bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

Female nomad bee

Dorsal view of bee

The bee's head and thorax are predominantly black, with yellow markings. Its legs are red.

The bee's pronotum is black with yellow markings. The tegulae and pronotal lobes are pale yellow.

Dorsal view of vertex and thorax: the pronotal collar is pale yellow.

There are yellow patches on the rear face of the propodeum.

There are five continuous pale-yellow stripes on segments T1-T5.

The female bee has two pale-yellow marks on its face. F1 of its antennae is slightly longer than F2. The second and third flagella are about the same length. F6 and F7 are both about as long as they are wide.

The bee's forewings are dark to the naked eye; close examination shows that they are darkest toward the front rim and tip of the wing.

Hind leg

Nomada vegana cuckoo bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

Nomada vegana cuckoo bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

This is a coppery-pink male Augochlorella measuring about 6 mm.  Notable traits of the bee include: its black antenna tips; its yellowish tarsi and front tibiae; its partly yellow labrum and clypeus;  the white hairs on the face and sparser pale white hairs covering much of the body; and the pinkish-coppery color of the head, thorax and abdomen.  I thought this might be A. gratiosa, but the hind leg basistarsi lack long hairs on the top 1/3 of the segment, which seems to be a defining trait of males of that species.    We've seen many Augochlorella aurata females that are this coppery color -- but as I've never seen a male A. aurata before, I thought I should ask for a verification of the ID.

Augochlorella  bracteata

Family:  Apidae

Size:  6  (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Scorpion-tail

(Heliotropium angiospermum)
Family: Boraginaceae

When seen:  October 2019  

This male Augochlorella has a coppery-pink color when viewed with the naked eye.

Profile view of bee.

Rear view of the male Augochlorella

Propodeum

Face of male Auguchlorella: the bee's face is slightly wider than it is long, and is covered with fine white hairs. Part of the labrum is yellow. The clypeus is metallic, with the exception of two pale spots near the apical rim. The jaws are reddish. .

Additional view of face. The last segment of each antenna is black, as are the scapes and pedicels.

The hind surfaces of the antennae are dark.

Sternum, showing curve on apex of S4

Image of inner hind basitarsus: the inner hairs on the basal 1/3 of the segment appear to be about the same length as those on the rest of the segment.

Alternate view of hind leg

Forewing, showing pointed marginal cell

WJPEG-Augochlorella-gratiosa-M-NBC-#298-
WJPEG-Augochlorella-gratiosa-M-NBC-#298-

Additional view of bee

Augochlorella gratiosa - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Male bee

WJPEG-Auguchlorella-gratiosa-dorsal-NBC-

Male bee

This looks nearly identical to the Exomalopsis solani you identified for us last week (which is shown directly below).  The main difference is that the bee has rust-colored scopal hairs and a rust-colored  tuft at the back of the thorax.  To the naked eye, these features appear  brilliant orange.  Numerous female bees with these features were feeding on Texas sage, in an area fairly distant from the bushes where we found the E. solani feeding on shrubby blue salvia.

Exomalopssis birkmanni

Family:  Apidae

Size:  11 mm  (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Texas sage

(Leucophyllum frutescens)

Family:  Scrophulariaceae

When seen:  October 2019  

Female exomalopsis on Texas sage

This female bee has brilliant orange scopal hairs on its hind legs.

Profile view of bee

Dorsal view of female bee: The bee has a bare, somewhat shiny scutum with a rust-colored tuft of hair on its hind edge.

T1 and T2 are black and shiny. Pale hair bands rim the apical edges of T2, T3 and T4. T1 has some pale hair laterally on its rim. Sparse longish hairs stretch across of T2-T4 as well. This is the same hair pattern as that on the bee identified as Exomalopsis solani.

Tip of abdomen & pygidial plate

Face of female bee

Antenna of female bee: F1 is somewhat longer than F2.

A female Exomalopsis birkmanni

Exomalopsis brmanni bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp
Exomalopsis birkmanni - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp


Confirmed ID Requests for Oct 17

ID's have been confirmed for the species below

Exomalopssis solani  (female)       

Family:  Apidae

Size:  10 mm  (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Shrubby blue salvia

(Salvia ballotiflora)
Family: Laminaceae

When seen:  October 2019  

Female Exomalopsis on shrubby blue salvia

The bee's scutum is smooth and shiny, except toward the front, which is somewhat pitted. The tibia of each middle leg is covered predominantly with dark hairs.

Hind and middle legs of female bee

Rearview of abdomen

The top two segments of the female bee's abdomen are smooth and shiny. There is a complete fringe of hair along the outer rim of T2. A a widely interrupted band appear on the sides of T1.

View of hind legs and abdomen from behind

T-4 through T6 and pygidial plate

Face of female bee

Close-up of face

Antenna of female bee: F1 is somewhat longer than F2.

Forewing

WJPEG-Exomalopsis-birkmanni-F-NBC-#267-s

Female bee

Exomalopsis birkmanni bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

This Exomalopsis is different from the other four species we've found so far in Hidalgo County (Exomalopsis mellipes, E. mellipes, E. snowi, E. anilis and E. similis, which appear on this guide page).   This bee seems to most closely resemble Exomalopsis birkmanni -- a description and photo of this species appear on this Discover Life database page.

This female bee was feeding on shrubby blue salvia.  It is relatively large for an Exomalopsis.  Its tegulare are dark and opaque.

 

LEGS:  The hair on its hind legs is entirely pale, on both the outer and inner faces.  The hair on the outer middle legs is dark on the tibias and pale below.   

 

Scutum & Scutellum: The bee's scutum is highly reflective, but somewhat pitted on the front half.  

Abdomen:  T1 and T2 are shiny and highly reflective; there's a small pitted section along the base of T2.  T2 has a complete apical band of pale hair.  The band on T1 is widely interrupted.

Face and Antennae:  The bee's clypeus is pitted on the upper half; the lower, apical half does not appear to be as pitted. F1 is somewhat longer than F2.

Anthophora capistrata (female)

Family:  Apidae

Size:  14 mm  (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Shrubby blue salvia

(Salvia ballotiflora)
Family: Laminaceae

When seen:  October 2019  

Female Anthophora capistrata digger bee on shrubby blue salvia

Anthophora capistrata female on shrubby blue salvia

Face of female bee

Additional view of head & jaws

Hairs on thorax

Rear view of female bee's abdomen

Tip of abdomen

T1 - T3

Close-up of hind leg

Bee with back leg extended

Trip of sternum

MALE BEE: This male Anthophora capistrata was feeding on the same shrubby blue salvia bush as the female bee shown here.

Anthophora capistrata digger bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

Anthophora capistrata digger bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

I'm fairly sure that this is a female Anthophora capistrata.  Several male A. capistrata were feeding together on the same  shrubby blue salvia bush as the female bee shown here.  

We discovered male Anthophora capistrata digger bees on shrubby blue salvia at the National Butterfly Center last April (viewable here), and I've seen several on shrubby blue salvia at the NBC since arriving here in mid-October.  The males are simpler to identify, since they have such striking markings on their faces.

In April, we found a E. T. Cresson's description of male Anthophora capistrata in “Descriptions of new species of North American bees," Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. 30 (1878): 181-221 at 209-210 and 216-217).    Cresson based his description of Anthophora capistrata on an examination of two male bees,, but did not describe the female.   We were unable to unearth clear photographs or illustrations of female A. capistrata from reliable sources.

The only other digger bee species we've seen at NBC is Anthophora californica.  Females of that species are smaller than the bee shown here and have green eyes.  Also, the white abdominal bands are integumental, not formed by hairs like the bands on the abdomen of the bee shown here.  

 

The Discover Life database records A. capistrata as feeding on salvia as well as mesquite.

Colioxys texanus (male)

Family:  Megachildae

Size:  11 mm  (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Resinbush

(Viguiera stenoloba)
Family: Asteraceae

When seen:  October 2019  

Male bee

Close-up of head and vertex

The scapes and pedicels of the male bee's antennae are red.

Male bee

Face of male bee

WJPEG-Coelioxys-texanus-M-face-red-scape

Male bee

The following information is listed in the Discover Life Database page for Coelioxys texanus:   "In both sexes of Coelioxys texana the antennal scape and pedicel are usually ferruginous, a condition found in no other North American Coelioxys spp."  

This male bee seems too fit all other aspects of the description of that species cited from T. B. Mitchell on the same Discover Life page.

A female Coelioxys that appears to be C. texanus is shown below as well.

Colioxys texanus (female)

Family:  Megachildae

Size:  14 mm  (female)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Seaside goldenrod

(Solidago sempervirens)
Family: Asteraceae

When seen:  October 2019  

Female Coelioxys

Dorsal view of head & thorax

CLose-up of scutum & scutellum

Vertex, showing squamose hairs

View of ocelli -- there is a tuft of hair in front of the anterior ocellus, and the area around it looks swollen and impunctate.

Coelioxys texanus cuckoo leafcutter bee -(c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

WJPEG-Coelioxys-texanus-F-facing-left-NB

Female bee

This is a large female bee - 14 mm -- found feeding on goldenrod, about ten

yards from the bush where the male Coelioxys shown above appeared two days earlier.  As with the male bee, the scapes and pedicels of this female bee are red.

The tip of S6 is blunt -- this is why I think this is C. texanus instead of C. hunteri?

The bee also has a tuft of white hair in front of the central ocellus.  Matted hairs obscure most of the bee's jaws, also a trait of C. texanus.

Dieunomia nevadensis (male)

Family:  Halictidae 

Size: 9 mm  (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Seaside goldenrod

(Solidago sempervirens)
Family: Asteraceae

When seen:  October 2019  

Male Dieunomia on goldenrod

Face of male bee

The terminal antennal segment is unmodified (placing this in subgenus Epinomia).

Abdomen & hind legs

Dorsal view of bee

Male bee

Dieunomia - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp
Dieunomia - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Triepeolus sp (not lunatus)

Family:  Apidae

Size:  12 mm  (male)

Associated plant at NBC:  

Resinbush

(Viguiera stenoloba)
Family: Asteraceae

When seen:  October 2019  

Male bee

Face of male bee

Dorsal view of thorax

dorsal view of abdomen

profile of abdomen

WJPEG-Triepeolus-M-profile-NBC-#263-Resi

Male bee

WJPEG-Triepeolus-M-face-clypeus-NBC-#263

This male bee has a black clypeus and labrum and black-and-reddish jaws.  Its clypeus lacks a median line.  There are white hairs around the base of each antenna. The scapes, pedicels and F-1 of each antenna; the tegulae; and the bottom halves of the legs are red.  The pronotal nodes are black.