IDENTIFICATION PAGE # 9


ID requests for June 2020


WILD BEES OF THE NATIONAL BUTTERFLY CENTER
Mission, Texas

Here is a bee you identified for us in 2018 as Triepeolus rufoclypeus.  Most of the Triepeolus bees we see in Hidalgo County  look like this one.

Triepeolus rufoclypeus cuckoo bee - (c) Copyright 2019 Paula Sharp

A female Triepeolus rufoclypeus

This looks like Triepeolus lunatus to me.     There were many of these feeding on Solidago last fall at the National Butterfly Center.   Notably, however, the usual host of T. lunatus -- Melissodes bimaculatus - does not seem to be endemic to the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  In the 2+ years we've been documenting bees there, we haven't seen a single one.  We saw many M. bimaculatus when we were in Austin (here in Florida, they are ubiquitous), so we've actively kept an eye out for them in Hidalgo County, without results.    Could Triepeolus lunatus have an alternative host?  The most common long-horned bees at the NBC in the fall are M. tepaneca and  Melissoptila otomita.

Female triepeolus lunatus?

Family:  Andrenidae

Size:  13 mm (male)

Associated plant

Seaside goldenrod

Solidago sempervirens)
Family: Asteraceae

When seen:

October,  2019

Show more.
WJPEG-Triepeolus-yellow-striped-NBC-#300

Male Colletes swenki?

Family:  Colletidae

Size:  7-8 mm (male)

Associated plant

Downy Ground Cherry

(Physalis pubescens)
Family:  Solanaceae

When seen:

March 5,  2020

detailed photos of male bee

This is a small (7 mm) male Colletes bee found on Physalis.

WJPEG-Colletes-M-landscape-one-NBC-#343-

Below is a  female Colletes swenki found  during April 2019, in the same area, on purple ground cherry (Quincula lobata).  The female was larger -- 11 mm.

This is one of the female Colletes bees we found feeding on t he same seaside goldenrod plants as the male bee you identified as Colletes birkmanni.  All of the female Colletes bees we're seeing on the goldenrod have the same rust-colored thorax hairs.  (The female Colletes birkmanni identified last year also had this trait.)  The females lack the specialized sternum hairs found on the male bee.  (Photos of last year's female and of this year's male are shown below the latest photos of this new female.)

Colletes birkmanni?

Family:  Colletidae

Size:  12 mm (female)

          8-10 mm (male)

Associated plants at NBC:  

Seaside goldenrod

(Solidago sempervirens)   
Plant Family: Asteraceae

When Seen:

November 2019

Colletes birkmanni cellophane bee - (c) Copyright 019 Paula Sharp

Female bee

Female bee

Collees birkmanni cellophane bee - (c) Coopyright 2019 Paula Sharp

Female bee found a year ago, in November 2018

Male bee found a week ago, in October 2018


Confirmed ID Requests

ID's have been confirmed for the species below

Perdita female and male

Family:  Andrenidae

Size:  8 mm (female)

Associated plant

Cowpen daisy

(Verbesina encelioides)
Family:  Asteraceae

When seen:

February 2020

Detailed photos of female bee

This is  a fairly large female Perdita - around  8 mm.   There were dozens of these feeding on cowpen daisy.  The bands on the female bee's abdomen are broad, bright yellow and uninterrupted. Its thorax is metallic bronze with a yellow spot on each pronotal lobe and a narrowly interrupted stripe on the pronotal collar. The the top half of the face, above the antennae, is dark.  The clypeus is dark, with yellow markings.  The bees' jaws bend at sharp right angles; the jaws are mostly red, and black at the tips.  The wing veins are pale, including the stigma.  I was wondering if this might be Perdita (Cockerellia) verbesinae?
 

female bee

Perdita  (Cockerellia) male

Family:  Andrenidae

Size:  8 mm (female)

(male is also 8 mm)

Associated plant

Cowpen daisy

(Verbesina encelioides)
Family:  Asteraceae

When seen:

February 2020

The 8 mm male bee shown here was found with the female shown above. The male bee lacks abdominal bands.  The apical rims of its terga are lined with sparse pale hairs.  The bee's thorax is metallic bronze with a  narrowly interrupted stripe on the pronotal collar. The the top half of the face, above the antennae, is dark.  The clypeus is dark, with yellow markings.  The bees' jaws are orange.  The wing veins are very pale, including the stigma.  Despite the lack of  yellow bands, I was wondering if this might be the same species as that above?  I read in Timberlake that  Perdita (Cockerellia) verbesinae sometimes appears without bands? Or are the jaws of the male bee too different from those of the above female for them to be the same species?

WJPEG-Perdita-male-dorsal-second-NBC-#33

Male Osmia subfasciata

Family:  Andrenidae

Size:  8 mm (female)

Associated plant

Cowpen daisy

(Verbesina encelioides)
Family: Fabacea

When seen:

February 2020

Is this a male  Osmia subfasciata?  We saw many female Osmia subfasciata in the same area in March and April last year.

There are many male Osmia bees like the one below at the National Butterfly Center right now, feeding on vetch and Texas baby bonnet.
 

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Last updated July 2020

 1-15-19

Abdomen of female bee