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BIML Update - SD, VA, MD, WV, NM Lasioglossum, Megachile

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  • Sam Droege
    New State Records Lasioglossum cephalotes (Virginia) - Specimen from Banshee Reeks, a county park in Northern Virginia that is doing an inventory of the bees
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 22, 2010

      New State Records

      Lasioglossum cephalotes (Virginia) - Specimen from Banshee Reeks, a county park in Northern Virginia that is doing an inventory of the bees of that Park.
      Megachile frugalis (Maryland) - Netted along the back fence of the parking lot at Redskin's stadium in very urban edge of Washington D.C. (this species seems to be showing up more often...so watch for it.)
      Bombus ternarius (West Virginia) - Photo of a specimen from Matt McKinney
      Pseudoanthidium sp. (Maryland) - Collected at the old Sparrow's Point Steel Mill area (once the largest Steel plant in the world) along the harbor in Baltimore, now with lots of weedy lots.
      South Dakota - Studies in Badlands National Park and the Black Hills are generating numerous new records, mostly of western species, often their easternmost extensions.
      Anthidium manicatum (New Mexico) - Karen Wetherill reports they are now present in Albuquerque gardens.

      I have a feeling I have forgotten to report some new state records...feel free to remind me and I will put them up the next time.

      Magnetized Tweezers
       
      Jane Whitaker reports that a magnetized pair of tweezers is very beneficial when picking up pins with glued bees.

      Guide Updates

      Megachile
      M. apicalis, M. concinna, M. rotundata
             
      M. apicalis - T2 and T3 BOTH bearing lateral, oval-shaped patches, these patches take up about one quarter of the lateral distance of the segment and appear to be absent of hairs and pits, however, at extremely high magnifications you will see they are really composed of very dense, minute, fine hairs - Patches best viewed at an angle - T5 with short, slightly thickened, upright dark hairs, these hairs only slightly longer than hairs on T3 - T4, in comparison to M. concinna, these hairs slightly less dense and slightly lighter

      M. rotundata - T2 ONLY bearing lateral, oval-shaped patches, these patches take up about one quarter of the lateral distance of the segment and appear to be absent of hairs and pits, however, at extremely high magnifications you will see they are really composed of very dense, minute, fine hairs - T3 has no patches - Patches best viewed at an angle - Hairs on T5 all light colored

      M. concinna -  T2 and T3 without oval-shaped patches - T5 with robust, long, upright dark hairs, these hairs about twice as long as hairs on T3 - T4


      Anthidium vs Pseudoanthidium
             
      Anthidium - Pitting along the depressed rim of T2-3 smaller, more closely spaced, and of greater density in comparison to pitting on the remainder of the segment - Subantennal sutures straight or nearly so - Locally regular species, particularly the two introduced species - In comparison, larger, smallest individuals barely getting down to 8mm    

      Pseudoanthidium - Pitting along the rim of T2-3 smaller, no different, or only slighly more closely spaced and smaller in comparison to pitting on the remainder of the segment, rim area often with no discernible depression - Subantennal sutures clearly arch outward - Rare, recently discovered European species found in urban areas of Baltimore and New York City metropolitan areas - In comparison very small, usually less than 8mm    

      Female, B. frigidus, B. sandersoni, B. vagans
                     
      (note, the below is somewhat controversial, so am looking for some feedback...B. sandersoni is a very uncommon bee in general, but we have been finding it at least somewhat regularly in the Appalachian Mountains and ran into a nice string of about 50 from Mountain Lake, VA thanks to Barbara Abraham's work there.
             
      Bombus
      B. frigidus - Hairs on T4-5 orange or orange-yellow - Always with a strong band of black hairs between the tegula on the scutum - Space from lowest point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible roughly equal to width of mandible at base - Face appears squarish            

      B. sandersoni - T1-T2 usually entirely yellow, some specimens may show scattered black hairs on T2 - Hair on T4 black, but at times with yellow or off-white hair on the far sides - Hair on T5 can be pale yellow, off-white, black, if appearing all black there are usually a few yellow hairs on the far sides - Space from lowest point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible varies from roughly equal to width of mandible at base to longer - Hair above the ocelli is almost always largely black but often with scattered yellow hairs - In direct comparison, the black hairs on the scutum take up much of the posterior half of the scutum with yellow hairs simply bordering the junction with the scutellum and near the tegulae, scattered black hairs occur in these yellow areas including in the anterior edge of the scutum near the head            

      B. vagans - Hair on T4-5 always black, except in Newfoundland where the endemic subspecies bolsteri has T5 yellow - Space from lowest point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible longer than width of mandible at base - Face appears long, horsey - In direct comparison, the black hairs on the scutum are largely restricted to the center of the scutum creating only a small patch of black amidst a largely yellow-haired scutum, though with scattered black hairs laterally to the tegula - Hairs above the ocelli almost always with extensive amounts of yellow, apparently never all black  

      Scanning in Bee Literature

      We have a new "Snap Scanner" in the office and have just started the process of working out how to bulk scan the taxonomic bee literature and put species accounts into Discoverlife.   Mike Feil has been working on this and has put up some Holcopasistes accounts from Hurd and Linsley.   More on this in the future as we try to create a searchable pdf library that we can share.


    • Doug Yanega
      Having just spent much of today going over a large assortment of B. ... Looking over specimens from WV, VA, and MD, there are a few with pale hairs on terga
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 24, 2010
        Re: [beemonitoring] BIML Update
        Having just spent much of today going over a large assortment of B. vagans, I can offer some feedback on the following:

        Female, B. frigidus, B. sandersoni, B. vagans
                       
        (note, the below is somewhat controversial, so am looking for some feedback...B. sandersoni is a very uncommon bee in general, but we have been finding it at least somewhat regularly in the Appalachian Mountains and ran into a nice string of about 50 from Mountain Lake, VA thanks to Barbara Abraham's work there.
               
        B. sandersoni - T1-T2 usually entirely yellow, some specimens may show scattered black hairs on T2 - Hair on T4 black, but at times with yellow or off-white hair on the far sides - Hair on T5 can be pale yellow, off-white, black, if appearing all black there are usually a few yellow hairs on the far sides - Space from lowest point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible varies from roughly equal to width of mandible at base to longer - Hair above the ocelli is almost always largely black but often with scattered yellow hairs - In direct comparison, the black hairs on the scutum take up much of the posterior half of the scutum with yellow hairs simply bordering the junction with the scutellum and near the tegulae, scattered black hairs occur in these yellow areas including in the anterior edge of the scutum near the head            
        B. vagans - Hair on T4-5 always black, except in Newfoundland where the endemic subspecies bolsteri has T5 yellow - Space from lowest point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible longer than width of mandible at base - Face appears long, horsey - In direct comparison, the black hairs on the scutum are largely restricted to the center of the scutum creating only a small patch of black amidst a largely yellow-haired scutum, though with scattered black hairs laterally to the tegula - Hairs above the ocelli almost always with extensive amounts of yellow, apparently never all black  

        Looking over specimens from WV, VA, and MD, there are a few with pale hairs on terga other than 1-2; however, all but one of these has a lot of yellow on the vertex, and the malar spaces are no different from those of perfectly typical vagans from the same dates/localities. The amount of black on the scutum seems to vary a fair bit from specimen to specimen, even within series, and not just series from the Appalachians. I wouldn't say I could confidently classify any of the specimens at hand as sandersoni using the criteria you give (especially given that they otherwise are no different from other females in the same series) - it could be that there are simply no sandersoni in amongst these, but if we assume that, given that all of your diagnostic features (other than the malar space feature, though I confess to not having an ocular scale) appear on some of these specimens, that would mean these features can't be used to reliably diagnose sandersoni, at least not the way they're phrased, without images to clarify them.

        Peace,
        -- 
        

        Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
        Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
        phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                     http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
          "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
                is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
      • John S. Ascher
        Female sandersoni should be separated by vagans by their shorter malar spaces. Both of these species vary a great deal in color. Whatever reliable color
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 24, 2010
          Female sandersoni should be separated by vagans by their shorter malar
          spaces. Both of these species vary a great deal in color. Whatever
          reliable color characters may exist are not well documented in the
          literature or elsewhere and any differences may not apply throughout the
          large area of overlap between these two species, the full extent of which
          is not known.

          The key to identifying females of these species (and other difficult
          species pairs in the west) is to have sufficient familiarity with Bombus
          to be able to consistently perceive the small difference in malar space
          between them. This requires practice, patience, and access to correctly
          determined reference material. In sandersoni the malar space resembles
          that of perplexus whereas that of vagans is clearly longer approximating
          that of bimaculatus.

          "The amount of black on the scutum seems to vary a fair bit from specimen
          to specimen, even within series"

          This is certainly true. Hair color should be used with great caution when
          separating similar Bombus species, as variation within a species such as
          vagans likely exceeds that between vagans and sandersoni.

          "these features can't be used to reliably diagnose sandersoni, at least
          not the way they're phrased, without images to clarify them."

          I think that's an accurate assessment of the situation. Color variation
          across the ranges of both species should be assessed further before
          diagnostic characters are proposed.

          In my experience sandersoni queens average smaller than vagans queens, so
          very large queens are likely vagans whereas smaller ones should be checked
          carefully vs. sandersoni.

          Doug, at many localities only vagans occurs so it is not too surprising to
          see long series of that species with no sandersoni.

          John


          > Having just spent much of today going over a large assortment of B.
          > vagans, I can offer some feedback on the following:
          >
          >>Female, B. frigidus, B. sandersoni, B. vagans
          >>
          >>(note, the below is somewhat controversial, so am looking for some
          >>feedback...B. sandersoni is a very uncommon bee in general, but we
          >>have been finding it at least somewhat regularly in the Appalachian
          >>Mountains and ran into a nice string of about 50 from Mountain Lake,
          >>VA thanks to Barbara Abraham's work there.
          >>
          >>B. sandersoni - T1-T2 usually entirely yellow, some specimens may
          >>show scattered black hairs on T2 - Hair on T4 black, but at times
          >>with yellow or off-white hair on the far sides - Hair on T5 can be
          >>pale yellow, off-white, black, if appearing all black there are
          >>usually a few yellow hairs on the far sides - Space from lowest
          >>point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible varies from
          >>roughly equal to width of mandible at base to longer - Hair above
          >>the ocelli is almost always largely black but often with scattered
          >>yellow hairs - In direct comparison, the black hairs on the scutum
          >>take up much of the posterior half of the scutum with yellow hairs
          >>simply bordering the junction with the scutellum and near the
          >>tegulae, scattered black hairs occur in these yellow areas including
          >>in the anterior edge of the scutum near the head
          >>
          >>B. vagans - Hair on T4-5 always black, except in Newfoundland where
          >>the endemic subspecies bolsteri has T5 yellow - Space from lowest
          >>point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible longer than
          >>width of mandible at base - Face appears long, horsey - In direct
          >>comparison, the black hairs on the scutum are largely restricted to
          >>the center of the scutum creating only a small patch of black amidst
          >>a largely yellow-haired scutum, though with scattered black hairs
          >>laterally to the tegula - Hairs above the ocelli almost always with
          >>extensive amounts of yellow, apparently never all black
          >
          > Looking over specimens from WV, VA, and MD, there are a few with pale
          > hairs on terga other than 1-2; however, all but one of these has a
          > lot of yellow on the vertex, and the malar spaces are no different
          > from those of perfectly typical vagans from the same
          > dates/localities. The amount of black on the scutum seems to vary a
          > fair bit from specimen to specimen, even within series, and not just
          > series from the Appalachians. I wouldn't say I could confidently
          > classify any of the specimens at hand as sandersoni using the
          > criteria you give (especially given that they otherwise are no
          > different from other females in the same series) - it could be that
          > there are simply no sandersoni in amongst these, but if we assume
          > that, given that all of your diagnostic features (other than the
          > malar space feature, though I confess to not having an ocular scale)
          > appear on some of these specimens, that would mean these features
          > can't be used to reliably diagnose sandersoni, at least not the way
          > they're phrased, without images to clarify them.
          >
          > Peace,
          > --
          >
          > Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
          > Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
          > phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
          > http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
          > "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
          > is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82


          --
          John S. Ascher, Ph.D.
          Bee Database Project Manager
          Division of Invertebrate Zoology
          American Museum of Natural History
          Central Park West @ 79th St.
          New York, NY 10024-5192
          work phone: 212-496-3447
          mobile phone: 917-407-0378
        • Sam Droege
          Hey Doug: To large extent, you are right, confidently identifying B. sandersoni is part experience, art, and CSI. They just don t occur regularly. That said,
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 25, 2010

            Hey Doug:

            To large extent, you are right, confidently identifying B. sandersoni is part experience, art, and CSI.  They just don't occur regularly.  That said, if you have a specimen with T1 and T2 all yellow an with extensive white/yellow hairs in the center of T5 along with the other features you can be NEARLY certain, particularly if they are coming from a largely forested area.  

            I would be glad to look over your boderline specimens to see if their woo woo features match.

            sam

            Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
            w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
            USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
            BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
            Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

            This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches,
            give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your
            income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience
            and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or
            to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the
            young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air of every
            year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any
            book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great
            poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of
            its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body . . . .
                   -  Walt Whitman






            From:Doug Yanega <dyanega@...>
            To:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            Date:09/24/2010 10:41 PM
            Subject:Re: [beemonitoring] BIML Update
            Sent by:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com





             

            Having just spent much of today going over a large assortment of B. vagans, I can offer some feedback on the following:


            Female, B. frigidus, B. sandersoni, B. vagans
                         
            (note, the below is somewhat controversial, so am looking for some feedback...B. sandersoni is a very uncommon bee in general, but we have been finding it at least somewhat regularly in the Appalachian Mountains and ran into a nice string of about 50 from Mountain Lake, VA thanks to Barbara Abraham's work there.

                   
            B. sandersoni - T1-T2 usually entirely yellow, some specimens may show scattered black hairs on T2 - Hair on T4 black, but at times with yellow or off-white hair on the far sides - Hair on T5 can be pale yellow, off-white, black, if appearing all black there are usually a few yellow hairs on the far sides - Space from lowest point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible varies from roughly equal to width of mandible at base to longer - Hair above the ocelli is almost always largely black but often with scattered yellow hairs - In direct comparison, the black hairs on the scutum take up much of the posterior half of the scutum with yellow hairs simply bordering the junction with the scutellum and near the tegulae, scattered black hairs occur in these yellow areas including in the anterior edge of the scutum near the head            
            B. vagans - Hair on T4-5 always black, except in Newfoundland where the endemic subspecies bolsteri has T5 yellow - Space from lowest point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible longer than width of mandible at base - Face appears long, horsey - In direct comparison, the black hairs on the scutum are largely restricted to the center of the scutum creating only a small patch of black amidst a largely yellow-haired scutum, though with scattered black hairs laterally to the tegula - Hairs above the ocelli almost always with extensive amounts of yellow, apparently never all black  

            Looking over specimens from WV, VA, and MD, there are a few with pale hairs on terga other than 1-2; however, all but one of these has a lot of yellow on the vertex, and the malar spaces are no different from those of perfectly typical vagans from the same dates/localities. The amount of black on the scutum seems to vary a fair bit from specimen to specimen, even within series, and not just series from the Appalachians. I wouldn't say I could confidently classify any of the specimens at hand as sandersoni using the criteria you give (especially given that they otherwise are no different from other females in the same series) - it could be that there are simply no sandersoni in amongst these, but if we assume that, given that all of your diagnostic features (other than the malar space feature, though I confess to not having an ocular scale) appear on some of these specimens, that would mean these features can't be used to reliably diagnose sandersoni, at least not the way they're phrased, without images to clarify them.

            Peace,
            --


            Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
            Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
            phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                       
            http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
             "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
                   is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82



          • Paul
            Hi Sam and Doug re: B. sandersoni & B. vagans As you know, bumblebees are often very variable in colour pattern (perhaps even more so outside of eastern North
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 25, 2010
              Hi Sam and Doug

              re: B. sandersoni & B. vagans

              As you know, bumblebees are often very variable in colour pattern (perhaps even more so outside of eastern North America), so it is much safer to use morphological characters to make identifications. In this case, the face shape (length to breadth of the malar area) is the most reliable character. It seems that both of these species can have the pile of the face and top of the head black or with yellow. Although I haven't seen B. vagans with the pile of the vertex entirely black, they may yet be found.

              It is very likely that B. sandersoni just does not occur at low elevations in WV, VA, and MD.

              Paul


              --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Doug Yanega <dyanega@...> wrote:
              >
              > Having just spent much of today going over a large assortment of B.
              > vagans, I can offer some feedback on the following:
              >
              > >Female, B. frigidus, B. sandersoni, B. vagans
              > >
              > >(note, the below is somewhat controversial, so am looking for some
              > >feedback...B. sandersoni is a very uncommon bee in general, but we
              > >have been finding it at least somewhat regularly in the Appalachian
              > >Mountains and ran into a nice string of about 50 from Mountain Lake,
              > >VA thanks to Barbara Abraham's work there.
              > >
              > >B. sandersoni - T1-T2 usually entirely yellow, some specimens may
              > >show scattered black hairs on T2 - Hair on T4 black, but at times
              > >with yellow or off-white hair on the far sides - Hair on T5 can be
              > >pale yellow, off-white, black, if appearing all black there are
              > >usually a few yellow hairs on the far sides - Space from lowest
              > >point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible varies from
              > >roughly equal to width of mandible at base to longer - Hair above
              > >the ocelli is almost always largely black but often with scattered
              > >yellow hairs - In direct comparison, the black hairs on the scutum
              > >take up much of the posterior half of the scutum with yellow hairs
              > >simply bordering the junction with the scutellum and near the
              > >tegulae, scattered black hairs occur in these yellow areas including
              > >in the anterior edge of the scutum near the head
              > >
              > >B. vagans - Hair on T4-5 always black, except in Newfoundland where
              > >the endemic subspecies bolsteri has T5 yellow - Space from lowest
              > >point of eye to mid-point of attachment of mandible longer than
              > >width of mandible at base - Face appears long, horsey - In direct
              > >comparison, the black hairs on the scutum are largely restricted to
              > >the center of the scutum creating only a small patch of black amidst
              > >a largely yellow-haired scutum, though with scattered black hairs
              > >laterally to the tegula - Hairs above the ocelli almost always with
              > >extensive amounts of yellow, apparently never all black
              >
              > Looking over specimens from WV, VA, and MD, there are a few with pale
              > hairs on terga other than 1-2; however, all but one of these has a
              > lot of yellow on the vertex, and the malar spaces are no different
              > from those of perfectly typical vagans from the same
              > dates/localities. The amount of black on the scutum seems to vary a
              > fair bit from specimen to specimen, even within series, and not just
              > series from the Appalachians. I wouldn't say I could confidently
              > classify any of the specimens at hand as sandersoni using the
              > criteria you give (especially given that they otherwise are no
              > different from other females in the same series) - it could be that
              > there are simply no sandersoni in amongst these, but if we assume
              > that, given that all of your diagnostic features (other than the
              > malar space feature, though I confess to not having an ocular scale)
              > appear on some of these specimens, that would mean these features
              > can't be used to reliably diagnose sandersoni, at least not the way
              > they're phrased, without images to clarify them.
              >
              > Peace,
              > --
              >
              > Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
              > Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
              > phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
              > http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
              > "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
              > is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
              >
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