Hylaeus affinis vs. H. modestus
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Rebekah Nelson and I have been working on ways to tell female Hylaeus affinis from H. modestus. In most areas they make up the bulk of the Hylaeus catch and Mitchell's key has always been confusing. See if the information below is useful and let us know of any changes you feel need to be made.
H. affinis vs H. modestus - Tricky and often confused pair - Combination of characters
H. affinis - Tegula with clear yellow patch AND the slightly smaller tegula-like structure usually partially hidden under the tegula with a yellow stripe along its edge - Several to many pits on the mesepisturnum touching - Secondary and more subjective characteristics include the surface of the mesepisturnum being slightly rougher and the pits a bit more difficult to detect, the yellow on the pronotal lobe running to the pointed end by the collar, and the yellow paraocular marks on the head having their margin nearest the antennae being relatively straight
H. modestus - Tegula and the structure below it with no yellow patches- No to a very few pits on the mesepisturnum touching - Secondary and more subjective characteristics include the surface of the mesepisturnum being comparatively smoother, even though still heavily lined and tessilated, and the pits very clear, the yellow on the pronotal lobe not running to the pointed end by the collar but being retracted slightly back, and the yellow paraocular marks on the head having their margin nearest the antennae not straight but having a projecting angle somewhere about the level of the top of the base of the antennae, note that in both species the marks in the paraocular area often are truncated to only the height of the antennal bases not beyond
Unknown - Could be either - Combination of the two species characters, often this can include the presence of absence of a tegula yellow mark when other characters are contraindicative. Usually there are several specimens in any series that cannot be safely ascribed.
Sam Droege Sam_Droege@...
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
Neither clown nor child nor black
nor white but verticle
and a questioning innocence
dressed in night and snow:
The mother smiles at the sailor,
the fisherman at the astronaunt,
but the child child does not smile
when he looks at the bird child,
and from the disorderly ocean
the immaculate passenger
emerges in snowy mourning.
I was without doubt the child bird
there in the cold archipelagoes
when it looked at me with its eyes,
with its ancient ocean eyes:
it had neither arms nor wings
but hard little oars
on its sides:
it was as old as the salt;
the age of moving water,
and it looked at me from its age:
since then I know I do not exist;
I am a worm in the sand.
the reasons for my respect
remained in the sand:
the religious bird
did not need to fly,
did not need to sing,
and through its form was visible
its wild soul bled salt:
as if a vein from the bitter sea
had been broken.
Penguin, static traveler,
deliberate priest of the cold,
I salute your vertical salt
and envy your plumed pride.
- Neruda, Pablo.