DiscoverLife Bee Genera Guide Updates (and more!)
This is another set of characters that have been added to the bee genera identification guide of the DiscoverLife system, which may be found here:
This is one of the final updates to iron out the unresolved groups introduced as a result of the addition of the Mexican genera. It's a very mixed assortment of different groups as a result. Currently, all groups should resolve with the inclusion of locality and taxonomic character scoring, although in some cases such as Zikanapis there is not enough information about either of the genders for resolution to be complete for both genders.
The next step in the development of the bee genera identification guide is clear as a result, as I have alluded to in my previous updates:
We will now begin working to allow resolution of all genera in the guide without the need to use locality or taxonomic information, for both genders. The Meliponini will be something of an exception to this. While their workers and males are currently accounted for in the guide, I have not been able to gather the necessary specimens or reference material to include Meliponini queens.
For this work to be successful, it is important that any issues with the guide be reported to either Sam Droege (sdgroege@...) or myself (mco25@...).
Megommation vs other selected genera - This character is more reliable for females, although the propodeal pubescence character may help distinguish males
Megommation - On the hind leg of the FEMALE, the BASITIBIAL PLATE GREATLY REDUCED such that it often appears absent, this applies to all species save for the one member of the subgenus Stilbochlora, which is restricted to South America and can be identified by its bright green coloration of the thorax and abdomen in both sexes as well as the presence of a dense tuft of plumose hairs surrounding the propodeal spiracle that is found in males of this groupOther selected genera - The basitibial plate of the hind leg is readily evident, extending over the tibia at least slightly - Males usually do not have dense, white plumose hairs surrounding the propodeal spiracle (Augochlora, Augochlorella, Neocorynura, Pereirapis, Pseudaugochlora)
Oxaea vs other Oxaeinae
Oxaea - Tergites usually with strong METALLIC reflections at least along the apically impressed rim, these can be either green or bluish - Maxillary palpus ABSENT - This genus occurs no farther north than southern Mexico, most of the species occurring in South America
Other Oxaeinae - Tergites dark BROWNISH OR BLACK, if with metallic reflections then they are only very slightly visible at certain angles - Maxillary palpus SIX-segmented - These genera are found in the southwestern United States as well as Central America (Mesoxaea, Protoxaea)
Eufriesea vs Eulaema
Eufriesea - Face METALLIC at least slightly, clypeus lacking white markings - Clypeus variable, usually without a raised, longitudinal ridge - Labial palpus FOUR-segmented
Eulaema - Face non-metallic, commonly with WHITE markings on the clypeus - Clypeus with a strongly-raised, medial ridge running longitudinally - Labial palpus TWO-segmented
Ptilocleptis vs Sphecodes
Ptilocleptis - Mandible always simple, the single tip pointed and lacking a subapical tooth - Compound eyes much closer together at the bottom than at the top - Head usually only somewhat broader than long, if at all - Most species without a red abdomen, although one Mexican species does exhibit this trait - In direct comparison, body with less coarse pitting and sculpting throughout - This group is only known from Central and South America
Sphecodes - Mandible either simple or with a subpical tooth set slightly back from the tip - Compound eyes roughly the same distance apart at the bottom as at the top - Head usually distinctly broader than wide - Most often with at least a partially red abdomen, but entirely black in some males - In direct comparison, body with much more coarse pitting and sculpting throughout - This group is present virtually worldwide
Lasioglossum vs Ptilocleptis
Lasioglossum - Forewing with at least the outermost transcubital vein weakened, appearing as a single line when viewed under magnification, although this is harder to tell in male specimens - Scopa almost always present, only absent in some few rare parasitic speciesPtilocleptis - Forewing with all transcubital veins equally strong, each side of the vein appearing as a darkened border - Scopa always absent
Caupolicanini vs other selected genera
Other selected genera - F1 short and only slightly petoliate, if at all, clearly LESS THAN the length of the scape - Episternal groove incomplete, absent below its meeting with the scrobal groove (Cadeguala, Cadegualina, Diphaglossa, Mydrosoma, Mydrosomella, Ptiloglossidia)
The above character is largely preemptive, as those genera not already in the guide will be scored as such when they are added for South America.Anthophora - Malar space usually SHORT, well under a third the width of the mandible base - First recurrent vein of forewing meeting with the bottom of the second submarginal cell at about the MIDDLE
Anthophora vs Deltoptila
Deltoptila - Malar space LONG, usually nearing or about half the width of the mandible base - First recurrent vein of forewing meeting with the bottom of the second submarginal cell at or near its APEX, often in line with the bottom of the second transcubital vein
Deltoptila vs Habropoda
Deltoptila - Malar space LONG, usually equal to half or more of the basal width of the mandible, face appearing long and horse-like as a result - Hind wing with the first abscissa of vein cu-v usually meeting M+Cu at nearly a RIGHT angle or at least about 50 degrees, appearing close to transverse across the width of the wing itself - Flabellum present, glossa with a small but distinctly separate structure present at the very tip, this structure either fan-like or pointed with a single tip
Habropoda - Malar space SHORT, equal to much less than half the basal width of the mandible - Hind wing with the first abscissa of vein cu-v usually meeting M+Cu at an ACUTE angle, about 45 degrees or less - Flabellum absent, glossa without a small, separate structure at the very tip
There are also several new guides. These are guides for genera for which there are few species present in the United States, for which specimens were not available to me until recently. They are Megandrena and Ptiloglossa.
Megandrena, a member of the Andreninae, can be found at the following URL:
The completion of the Megandrena guide may be attributed to the specimens provided by Utah State University.
Ptiloglossa, a relatively close relative of the Caupolicana, can be found at the following URL:
The completion of the Ptiloglossa guide may also be attributed to the specimens provided by Utah State University.