Reprinted with permission from: Mitchell, T.B. 1962 Bees of the Eastern United States. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin No. 152.|
Megachile frugalis frugalis
FEMALE—Length 12-13 mm.; abdomen elongate and parallel-sided; black, tegulae somewhat more testaceous, legs black and spurs testaceous; eyes subparallel; clypeal margin nearly straight, very narrowly polished and impunctate, this area slightly elevated and sinuate; mandibles 4-dentate, a short bevelled edge between 2nd and 3rd teeth (fig. 56); lateral ocelli very slightly nearer eyes than to margin of vertex; cheeks subequal to eyes in width; vertex shining, punctures deep and distinct, quite close medially, becoming slightly separated laterally, rather coarse and well separated on cheeks but becoming fine and close along margins of eyes; face rugosopunctate in large part, punctures slightly separated only below anterior ocellus, median lineand apical margin of supraclypeal area shining and sparsely punctate, clypeus very finely and densely punctate throughout; pubescence white on cheeks, somewhat elongate below, and white between antennae and eyes; clypeus with erect, conspicuous, fuscous pubescence; vertex with somewhat shorter, erect, dark hairs, and area between antennae with a mixture of light and dark hairs; thorax rather thinly whitish pubescent laterally and posteriorly, scutum with very short, erect, fuscous pubescence, becoming pale anteriorly, and scutellum with erect, elongate, fuscous hairs; punctures of scutum quite deep and distinct, slightly separated medially, becoming densely crowded laterally, scutellum rather uniformly, closely but distinctly punctate, median punctures somewhat finer, and axillae with fine, densely crowded punctures; punctures of pleura close but distinct, somewhat shining; lateral faces of propodeum shining, but with exceedingly minute, scattered, vague punctures, posterior face more tessellate, punctures fading out toward median line; basitarsi slender and elongate, definitely shorter than their tibiae; tegulae with only very minute, obscure punctures toward inner margin; wings lightly infuscated basally, becoming rather deeply so apically and in marginal cell, veins brownish to piceous; abdominal terga 2-4 quite deeply grooved across base, apical margins distinctly and rather deeply depressed, basal margin of grooves distinct but not can- nate, depressed apical margins occupied by entire, white fasciae; tergum 1 with rather copious, pale pubescence, apical fascia rather poorly developed, discal pubescence of 2-4 very short and inconspicuous, apparently entirely pale, 5 with some pale pubescence basally, but with scattered, erect and rather elongate, black hairs toward apical margins; punctures of terga quite deep and distinct, slightly separated, becoming somewhat coarser on 4 and quite coarse and close on 5; tergum 6 rather strongly upturned apically, surface very densely and rather finely punctate, with numerous, rather long, erect, black hairs, without pale tomentum; sternum 6 well covered with rather short, black, scopal hairs, scopa otherwise pale yellow; the more basal sterna very closely, deeply and distinctly punctate, punctures becoming much more coarse and more distinctly separated on the more apical sterna, apical margins rather narrowly but deeply depressed and hyaline, no sternal fasciae evident.
MALE—Length 10-11 mm.; black, tegulae, and mid and hind spurs testaceous, legs otherwise black; eyes subparallel; clypeal margin nearly straight, with a very shallow, median, incurved area; mandibles 3-dentate (fig. 56), inferior process subbasal, triangularly acute;apical segment of flagellum slender and elongate; lateral ocelli subequally distant from eyes and margin of vertex; cheeks subequal to eyes in width, somewhat narrowed below, with a slender, acute process just beneath base of mandible; vertex smooth but rather dull, punctures distinct but rather fine and shallow, slightly separated medially, becoming more widely so laterally, quite sparse between ocelli and eyes, fine and close on cheeks above, becoming somewhat coarser and more widely separated below; face rather coarsely rugosopunctate, above, becoming finely so laterally and below, clypeus with quite deep and distinct but very fine and close punctures; cheeks white pubescent, elongate below, shorter above; face with elongate, more or less erect, white pubescence, with a row of conspicuous, erect, black hairs across upper margin of clypeus, with fuscous hairs between ocelli, intermixed with white on vertex; thorax rather short, white pubescent laterally and posteriorly, dorsum also largely pale pubescent, but with rather short, intermixed dark hairs on scutum, scutellum with quite elongate and erect dark hairs; scutum rather dull, punctures quite shallow but distinct, rather uniformly, slightly separated, becoming quite close between notaulices and tegulae, uniformly slightly separated on scutellum, somewhat closer on axillae; pleura rather dull beneath the pubescence, punctures quite close and rather coarse; lateral faces of propodeum somewhat shining beneath the pubescence, obscurely punetate, posterior face dull and tessellate, punctures hardly evident; front coxal spines slender and elongate, rather densely long, white pubescent posteriorly, eoxae punctate anteriorly, without distinct patches of bristles at base of spines; mid tibial spurs well developed; front tarsi slender and unmodified, entirely dark, but with a rather distinct, short, posterior, white fringe; mid and hind tarsi slender and simple; tegulae minutely and closely punctate toward inner margin; wings subhyaline basally, becoming somewhat infuscated apically, veins brownish; abdominal terga 2-5 quite deeply depressed across base, basal margins distinct, more or less carinate, apical margins of terga narrowly depressed, rather conspicuously white fasciate; basal tergum with rather copious, elongate, white pubescence, becoming dense at extreme sides, discal pubescence of 2-4 entirely pale, becoming very short on 4, 5 with some pale hairs basally, and rather elongate, erect, dark hairs toward apical margin; punctures of terga rather deep and distinct, quite close but not crowded, rather evenly distributed, becoming somewhat more irregular on 5; tergum 6 vertical, very closely and irregularly punctate but to some degree shining, with a rather deep, median, subapical pit, carina rather low, with a quite deep, semicircular
each side, median teeth of apical margin evident only as very broad, low carinae which are very close to the acute, quite distinct, lateral angles; tergum 7 somewhat exposed, transverse, with a median, acute but very short process; sterna 1-4 exposed, shining, punctures quite deep and distinct, rather coarse, close toward base but more sparse apically on each plate, apical margins rather broadly and deeply depressed, yellowishhyaline, with apical fringes of thin, white pubescence; apical margin of sternum 5 with a pair of oblique processes, intervening margin slightly incurved, setae very fine and sparse (fig. 57); setose areas of sternum 6 bilobate on each side, slightly separated medially, basal lobes short, apical lobes more extensive and triangular, apical marginal lobe extensive, broadly truncate; gonocoxites slender, slightly sinuate, and compressed (figs. 58 & 62).
DISTRIBUTION — Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Florida, west to California and Mexico, April to July.
FLOWER RECORDS—Croton, Erigeron, Eriogonum, Lotus, Opuntia, and Tephrosia.
Another form, pseudo frugalis Mitchell, occurring in the Southwest, necessitates the use of the subspecific designation for this typical form.
Notes from Mike Arduser
Checked the MO database and have numerous recent (post- 2000) records of M. frugalis from three counties that border Iowa (Clark, Sullivan and Atchison); usually at papilionoid legumes (Amorpha, Tephrosia, Dalea), occ. Asteraceae. However, Malinda Slagle did her Masters work in early 2000 on Amorpha canescens in NW Iowa but didn’t run across M. frugalis (that paper is in press somewhere…). In MO M. frugalis is widely distributed (in all ecoregions of the state) but nearly always in natural communities, esp. prairies – there’s only one “suburban” record.
Notes from Rob Jean
I collected 8 Megachile frugalis (3 males, 5 females) during my dissertation work at Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve in Iroquois Co., IL in 2003-eastern edge of IL. Definitely collected in a sandy area (black oak sand savanna). Also have a 12 records for IN.