BIML Updtate - Lasioglossum, Bombus, Hoplitis, Dufourea, Hylaeus, Subgenera in guides, Guide Pictures
USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory Updates
January 30, 2011
New State Records
Lasioglossum curuculum (Gibbs, manuscript name) - A specimen was found in Dave Smith's West Virginia malaise samples. This represents only the second known specimen for this neat looking parasitic bee. It is similar to L. michiganense in that is has a toothed mandible, but, among other features, it is strongly pitted on the mesepisturnum which L. michiganense does not have.
Michael Orr contributes the following revised couplets.
Male, B. bifarius vs B. californicus
B. bifarius - Malar space, distance between the mid-point of the mandible's attachment and the bottom of the eye, equal to or slightly longer than the width of the base of the mandible - Head, hair color above antennal sockets, ranging from a mixture of black and yellow hairs throughout to black hairs being present only in the lateral and posterior edges of this hair patch, with yellow always the dominant hair color - Head, hair patch below antennal sockets, hair near-exlusively yellow, if any black hair is present then it is restricted to the lateral edges of this hair patch, hair LONG and DENSE, often completely covering the clypeus - T3 almost always completely black or with a few pale hairs on the far lateral sides - In direct comparison, smaller
B. californicus - Malar space, distance between the mid-point of the mandible's attachment and the bottom of the eye, clearly longer than the width of the base of the mandible - Head, hair color above antennal sockets, a mixture of black and yellow hairs throughout, most often with black as the dominant hair color in this patch although some specimens seem to exhibit an equal mixture - Head, hair patch below antennal sockets, black and yellow hairs intermixed throughout the hair patch, although yellow is most often still the dominant color, hair SHORT and SPARSE, often leaving clypeus mostly exposed - T3 almost always with significant amounts of yellow hair, usually there is a clear band of yellow hair along the rim with black and yellow hairs intermixed throughout the interior of the segment - In direct comparison, larger
Worker, B. bifarius vs B. californicus
B. bifarius - Malar space, distance between the mid-point of the mandible's attachment and the bottom of the eye, shorter than or nearly equal to the width of the base of the mandible - Scutellum, hair color, ALWAYS with more yellow hair than black hair, any black hair being restricted to the center of the scutellum in a distinctive longitudinal stripe either formed by the black hair or a bare medial area, lateral patches strongly yellow with no black hairs - Head, hair color above antennal sockets and ocelli, primarily yellow, black hairs often present but restricted to the the lateral and posterior edges of the post-antennal patch and the anterior edge of the post-ocelli patch - Scutum, hair color in the anterior third, most often with a noticeable amount of black hair intermixed with the dominant yellow hairs - In direct comparison, smaller - Looking from above, the yellow on the scutellum separated by a V of black hairs in the center often stands out
B. californicus - Malar space, distance between the mid-point of the mandible's attachment and the bottom of the eye, longer than the width of the base of the mandible - Scutellum, hair color, often but not always with more black hair than yellow hair, with black hair found intermixed throughout the scutellum, although some specimens from Wyoming have been seen to have more yellow than black hairs - Head, hair color above antennal sockets and ocelli, primarily black, few yellow hairs present if any - Scutum, hair color in the anterior third, without any black hairs, or if black hairs present then not evenly intermixed and instead restricted to the rear portion of the anterior third of the scutum - In direct comparison, larger - Looking from above, this is a comparatively darker bee, the rear half of the scutum, all of the scutellum and the first tergites appear dark despite the presence, at times, of some intermixed yellow hairs
B. rufocinctus vs. selected other species
Head, malar space, the distance between the very bottom of eye and the mid-point of the attachment of the mandible always much shorter than the width of the base of the mandible, often appearing to be half that distance - Head, hair patch below antennal sockets, hair often but not always all black, if yellow hair is present then they are shorter, more sparsely distributed, and usually significantly more branched than the surrounding black hairs - Head, shortest distance between the lateral ocelli and the compound eye, usually equal to approximately 2-2.4 ocellar diameters in workers, slightly shorter in queens, closer to 1.6-2 ocellar diameters - Head, ocelli height in relation to the top of the compound eyes, slightly below the imaginary line that runs across the top of the eyes, but this is not a reliable character - Propodeum, surface texture, requires HIGH MAGNIFICATION, surface marked with very fine patterning which acts to diminish the integument's luster, this being most evident on the posterior, lateral faces of the propodeum found outside of the basal triangular enclosure - Abdomen, dorsal color patterning, females are tricky to identify because of the EXTREME variability of the abdominal colors, some individuals having a great deal of red on T2-4 while others have none or may exhibit such coloration only on a subset of these tergites, segments can be any combination of orange, yellow, or black, often intermixed on an individual segment, colors may vary even within a colony - Abdomen, T2, surface texture, requires HIGH MAGNIFICATION, surface marked with very fine patterning which acts to diminish the integument's luster, appearing either matte or only very slightly reflective, not distinctly smooth and shiny, punctures - Males, shortest distance between the lateral ocelli and the compound eye, of the 4 species with ocelli well below the tops of the eyes this species has lateral ocelli are 3 quarters to 1 ocelli width from the edge of the eye while the other species ocelli are almost touching the eye
Others - Not as above, although it would be wise to compare possible rufocinctus specimens to long series of positively identified rufocinctus from the same general area in order to account for variation - Malar space is often the most reliable way to initially determine if a specimen IS NOT rufocinctus, any specimens with equal or greater malar spaces in comparison to the basal width of the mandible are very unlikely to be rufocinctus
The following section was modified in the Hoplitis guide to better match the description of the female of this species.
Updated the guide for H. albifrons to have:
Viewing the face of the clypeus from above, the center half or more of the rim is modified, forming a slightly thickened and elevated bar with two widened areas or knobs at either end, the profile of the rim in this section is slightly concave or straight and outside of this modified area the sides of the clypeus, past the knobs, angle back toward the eyes
The following characters have been added based on newly available female specimens. Likely this characters will continue to change as more specimens become available. The guide currently only covers eastern species...
Female - H. annulatus, H. mesillae, H. rudbeckiae, H. saniculae - Some difficult to impossible to differentiate!
H. annulatus - Uncommon to locally regular - Yellow on the front tibia ABSENT OR RESTRICTED to a small dot at the base of the tibia - Averages slightly LARGER than all of the other species, in comparison, measurement of a few specimens indicated head width of 1.6 mm and lengths of 1.5 mm
H. mesillae - Common - Yellow or orange on the front tibia extensive, occupying HALF TO TWO THIRDS of the front face - Tubercles yellow, center of the clypeus near the rim sometimes with a smudge of yellow - Tegula sometimes with and sometimes without a small yellow mark - Very slightly smaller than H. rudbeckiae - Head width less than 1.4mm and face length 1.2mm or LESS, length measured from the front of the middle ocelli to the rim of the clypeus - Tending to have more subdued and less extensive markings than H. rudbeckiae
H. rudbeckiae - Very Rare - Slightly larger than H mesillae - Head width 1.40mm or more, rarely less, usually about 1.5mm and face length 1.2mm or MORE, length measured from front of middle ocelli to end of clypeus - Tending to have brighter and more extensive markings, especially on the clypeus, its entire apical third often being smudged with yellowish - orangish color - A VERY RARE species
H. saniculae - Rare - Yellow on the front tibia absent or restricted to a small dot at the base of the tibia - NO YELLOW on the tubercles - Facial markings reduced to narrow lines in the paraocular region and these lines not extending beyond the base of the antennae, and, like the much larger H. annulatus and unlike H. mesillae this mark does not fill the region between the clypeus and the compound eye - Smallest of all these species
The lovely black D. maura has been added to eastern guide, based on specimens found by Mike Arduser and a recent survey by the National Park Service on Isle Royale in Michigan. Since Isle Royale is closer to Canada than to the U.S. Ontario should be able to easily obtain a new Provincial record by doing a little collecting on the mainland or perhaps more simply by asking that the island be repatriated.
Sugenera now Added to Guides
John Ascher's list of bee speices of the world (http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Apoidea_species) also includes subgenera, making it easier for us to add subgenera to each of the individual species guides. So for genera having more than one subgenus in North America, Wren Droege and Sue Boo have added a character for subgenus at the bottom of the front page of each guide. Note that Leah Larkin added subgenera to her magnificent Andrena guides a long time ago!
Guide Pictures Not Magnifying
Tracy Zarrillo and John Pickering recently fixed a problem that cropped up this last month that prevented some pictures from loading or magnifying.
Denise Williams has been working with Bugguide photographers to include new useful species level pictures of bees on the species pages. If you have pictures for uncommon or rare species of bees that you would like to contribute from anywhere in North America that would be wonderful.
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
One night when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
what I would become -- and where I would find myself --
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.
-- Mark Strand