top of page


March 2024


Size: 10 mm

Food plants:

Fragaria, Prunus

When and where seen:

March 7 and 12, 2024

Gainesville  FL

Ruddy Nomad Bee

Nomada rubicunda

(two females)


Female bee #1

detailed images

Female bee #2

detailed images

Female bee  #1  (Click to enlarge photo)

Female bee  #1

WJPEG Nomada rubicunda F TWO 1 FLA 2024 _2 FSP Fragaria GG5A7761.jpg

Female bee  #2

Female bee  #2

NOTES:   These two female Nomada were found in the same spot, five days apart  (March 7 & 12) -- under a power line accessway running through a wooded area.  The bees were skulking around, low to the ground, over the hard-packed soil of a dirt road, occasionally stopping to drink nectar from scantily blooming  Fragaria and Prunus.  Very little was in bloom in the area.  Agapostemon splendens, the suspected host of Nomada rubucundus, had not yet emerged.  [FIrst signs of A. splendens in immediate area were around April 2.]   No sign either of any male Nomada rubicundus, which are yellow & black and nothing  like the female.


This bee was first described by Olivier in 1812, and again by Mitchell (BEUS) 1962.   Here is a general description of the first bee (which is nearly identical to the second bee below):

HEAD:  The bee’s face is entirely red (including the labrum, clypeus supraclypeus and mandibles). The clypeus is protuberant and rimmed along the apical edge with a neat fringe of dense white hairs.  The underside of the head is entirely red.  ANTENNAE:  The antennae are mostly dark (brown in front and black on the rear surfaces), but the scapes, pedicels and F1 are red.  F1 is longer than it is wide.  F2 is slightly greater than or equal to F1.  F6 and F7 are slightly longer than they are wide.


THORAX:  The scutum is mostly red, but the pronotal collar, the scutellum and the axillae are a brilliant orange.  The scutum and scutellum have rough, pitted surfaces, and the scutum is grooved down the middle.  The scutum has a narrow black border.  The metanotum is red.  The mesepisternum is roughly pitted and mostly red (with some black).    The front face of the propodeum is mostly red, and covered with long white hairs and some dark hairs. The front face of T1 red, with an ornate black edge. The underside of the thorax is entirely red. 


WINGS:  The  tegulae are dark red and deeply pitted.  The wings are glassy at the base, and progressively dark toward the edges and tips, with a small glassy area just beyond the 3rd submarginal cell.

ABDOMEN:  The bee’s abdomen is red and black, with yellow spots and ivory stripes:  Specifically, T1-T3 are mostly red, with lateral black spots on T1 and T3, and lateral pale yellow oblong spots on T3; T-4 and T5 are black, with wide, continuous ivory bands; T 6 is dark but obscured by longish white hairs. The sternum is entirely red.  

LEGS:  The front legs are red.  The middle legs are red with black coxae.  The rear legs are more intensely red, with some black on each femur and coxa.  (Mitchell's 1962 description of the species notes that there are spines between the coxae and trochanters of the forelegs, and that the hind-leg tibiae have blade-like brown setae that angle outward from the apical edge of the tibiae.  These may be buried under hairs; my macro dead not reveal these from any angle.)

bottom of page