Denise Williams has been busy in our lab requesting the use of new pictures
of bee species (many identified by the ID powerhouse John Ascher) on Bugguide
and elsewhere on the web and adding these to the species pages in Discoverlife.
There is now a growing collection of comparative shots available
Try this: Go to www.discoverlife.org
type a Genus name for a group of bees into the search box. Scroll
down until you see the list of "Kinds" and just above that will
be links to various summaries of pictures for that genus
Below is that feature for Osmia
Michael Orr has created the following
addition to the Halictus guide:
Female, Halictus tripartitus vs H.
H. tripartitus - Head comparatively
short, hinge of mandible abuts the bottom of the eye - Striations of the
dorsal triangle clear and well formed into neat parallel lines - Pits on
scutum and scutellum comparatively smaller, slightly wider spaced, and
surface uniformly smooth and shiny - Size comparatively smaller
H. virgatellus - Head comparatively
long, with a clear space between bottom of the eye and the hinge of the
mandible - Striations of the dorsal triangle vague and not forming neat
columns - Pits on scutum and scutellum comparatively larger, closely spaced,
and surface slightly more undulating between the pits - Size comparatively
New State Records
Osmia michiganensis - WI the
Apostle Islands....perhaps the western most record at this point for the
Great Lakes sand specialist.
Lasioglossum michiganense - VA
.... captured by Edd Barrows in one of his malaise samples from Dyke Marsh
along the Potomac River across from Washington D.C. (likely not captured
in the marsh proper, but along the border woodlands).
Nomada - Probable New Species
In amongst a large number of interesting
specimens sent from Florida by Glenn Hall were a series of distinctive
male Nomada. These specimens were similar to the rarely collected
N. electa and even more rarely collected N. electella (but
more closely affiliated with N. electa) but were clearly different.
No females were collected. So, at this point we are tentatively
putting them in the guide as N. near electa. A way to tell
them apart is given below.
N. electa - Yellow at the base
of the mandible extending over half way to the tip and to, or nearly to,
the base of the typical red area at the end of the mandible - In direct
comparison, the mandible is stouter - A wide yellow marking extends from
the base of the mandible and runs about one quarter to one third of the
way along the border of the eye along the cheek - Antennal segments F1
and F2 with scattered, noticeable apically pointing setae arising from
the apical ends of the underside, these setae about 2x as long as the other
hairs - Spine-like setae on the apical end of hind tibiae clearly visible,
dark red, thick, 5-8, and shorter than the surrounding hairs - Hind tibiae
with yellow markings at the basal and apical ends and connected together
via a narrow line along the outer face - Rear face of the propodeum entirely
black - In direct comparison, the tegula is larger - Primarily found in
the New England to Northern Mid-Atlantic region
N. near electa - Yellow at the
base of the mandible extending only about one third of the way to the tip
- In direct comparison, the mandibles are more slender - There is no yellow
mark running along the eye near the base of the mandible, but, at times
there is a slight orange smudge near the mandible base - Antennal segments
F1 and F2 with only slightly longer apically pointing setae arising from
the apical ends of the underside, these setae only slightly longer than
the surrounding hairs - Spine-like setae on apical end of hind tibiae NOT
clearly visible, thin, difficult to differentiate from surrounding hairs,
2-4 and about as long as the surrounding hairs - Hind tibiae with no yellow
markings - An orange-red line extends along the rear face of the propodeum
near to and paralleling the border with the lateral face - In direct comparison,
the tegula is smaller - Found only in Florida so far
The Nomada guides have
been updated in the following ways:
I have moved N. dreisbachi and
N. ceanothi to the group of species that are likely synonyms. What
remains within the Nomada group of species with thin white setae on the
hind tarsi most visible in the female) that make up perhaps the most common
group in the East (in addition to the bidentate mandible species) that
N. denticulata N. cressonii N. armatella N. pygmaea N. sayi/N. illinoensis N. parva N. florilega (and perhaps a species restricted to
N. florilega still needs definition
and the male is unknown; N. denticulata and N. armatella are
readily identified by unique characters; N. parva was covered in a previous
email. Advice on the identification of the remaining males (N.
cressonii, N. pygmaea, N. sayi/illinoensis) is now in the guide as
N. cressonii - In direct comparison,
the LARGEST species - In direct comparison, the mandibles are STOUT - T2-6
almost always with yellow markings - The marks on T2-3 usually come CLOSE
TO TOUCHING in the center, but there is always at least a line separating
the two sections - T2 always separated by less than the width of the yellow
mark apart - Scutum, scutellum, metanotum, and rear face of propodeum almost
always extensively red, in particular the scutellum appears to always be
COMPLETELY RED without a notch or break along the midline, but at times
with a black border along the suture with the scutum
N. illinoensis and N. sayi -
In direct comparison the smallest species and often confused with N. parva
- In comparison, the mandibles are thin and slightly elongate - Thorax,
scutum, often all black, but individuals with extensive red exist too -
Abdomen, T3 and usually T2, with yellow marks separated in the center by
MORE THAN the width of these marks and NOT extending to the other tergites
except rarely as small marks or relatively indistinct smudges - Note -
The author is currently unsure if there are real differences between the
two described species
N. pygmaea - In direct comparison,
INTERMEDIATE between the other two species with plenty of overlap - Mandibles
comparatively STOUT and the primary way of differentiating this species
from N. sayi and N. illinoensis - The absence of anything more than a smudgy
orange spot on S6 differentiates this species from N. cressonii, BUT in
a FEW heavily marked individuals this spot will be present and differentiating
from N. cressonii can only be done by inspecting and comparing a series
of both - Scutum often all black but regularly almost completely red -
T2- T3 always with strong yellow markings laterally can come close to touching
in the center, but always with at least a line separating the two sections,
T4-6 may or may not have yellow markings, if present, they tend to be less
extensive than in N. cressonii - Scutellum often either completely black
or with red patches laterally or the red being divided by black in the
center, these specimens can be differentiated from N. cressonii, however,
some do have all red on the scutellum and other characters have to be used
Others - DOUBLE CHECK your work - Many
other species look similar, so look VERY closely at the tibial setae, all
males faintly echo the setae of the females but are less stout and lighter
in color and consequently are often EXTREMELY difficult to detect without
a lot of practice - In this group you will see, again, with practice, a
series of longer white setae about the same thickness as the rest of the
hairs protruding from the surrounding hairs and decending in length - Also,
look for body SIZE differences and differences in the OVERALL COLOR and
SHAPE as further clues - The author still finds a fair number of specimens
that have the general characters of the above species, but do not exactly
match the patterns given here, those it is best to leave LABELED as Nomada
Identification of the females will be
worked on over the next month. There are probably close to 20 existing
Nomada names in the literature for this group and over the next
few months we will be exploring the types to see what synonymies and name
changes are required.
Taxonomic Bee Literature
For your Information.....We have begun
a project to scan and collect all the taxonomically related bee literature
in OCR'd pdf format. Ultimately we will have make this available
to anyone who wants to send us a large capacity memory stick or hard drive.
After Christmas we will put out a preliminary list of what we have
and recruit from the bee monitoring community missing documents. But,
at this point we aren't ready to coordinate with anyone so hold on for
just a bit, please.
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
(for Rona, Jeremy, Sam & Grace)
All the lizards are asleep--
perched pagodas with tiny triangular tiles,
each milky lid a steamed-up window.
Inside, the heart repeats itself like a sleepy gong,
summoning nothing to nothing.
In winter time, the zoo reverts to metaphor,
God's poetry of boredom:
the cobra knits her Fair-Isle skin,
rattlers titter over the same joke.
All of them endlessly finish spaghetti.
The python runs down like a spring,
and time stops on some ancient Sabbath.
Pythagorean bees are shut inside the
which hymns and hums like Sunday chapel--
drowsy thoughts in a wrinkled brain.
The fire's gone out--
crocodiles lie like wet beams,
cross-hatched by flames that no one can remember.
Grasshoppers shiver, chafe their limbs
and try to keep warm,
crouching on their marks perpetually.
The African cricket is trussed like a cold chicken:
the sneeze of movement returns it to the same position,
in the same body. There is no change.
The rumple-headed lion has nowhere to
and snoozes in his grimy combinations.
A chaise lounge with missing castors,
the walrus is stuck forever on his rock.
Sleepily, the seals play crib,
scoring on their upper lips.
The chimps kill fleas and time,
sewing nothing to nothing
Vultures in their shabby Sunday suits
fidget with broken umbrellas,
while the ape beats his breast
and yodels out repentance.
Their feet are an awful dream of bunions--
but the buffalo's brazil nut bugle-horns
can never sound reveille.
- Craig Raine
Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.