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Melissodes nivea Robertson, 1895
Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Melissodes

Melissodes nivea, female AMNH BEE00146157-3
© Copyright Hadel Go 2011-2016 · 9
Melissodes nivea, female AMNH BEE00146157-3

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    Identification Summary: Relatively small; labrum with some yellow in the center but with wide dark margins; white body hairs bright white not off-white like many species; F1 clearly shorter than pedicel; base of mandible sometimes with yellow, sometimes not; tergite rims often clear, transparent
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Melissodes nivea, male AMNH BEE00229830-3
© Copyright Hadel Go 2011-2016 · 8
Melissodes nivea, male AMNH BEE00229830-3
Melissodes nivea, female AMNH BEE00146157-1
© Copyright Hadel Go 2011-2016 · 7
Melissodes nivea, female AMNH BEE00146157-1

Melissodes nivea, female AMNH BEE00146157-2
© Copyright Hadel Go 2011-2016 · 7
Melissodes nivea, female AMNH BEE00146157-2
Melissodes nivea, male AMNH BEE00229830-1
© Copyright Hadel Go 2011-2016 · 7
Melissodes nivea, male AMNH BEE00229830-1

Melissodes nivea, male AMNH BEE00229830-2
© Copyright Hadel Go 2011-2016 · 7
Melissodes nivea, male AMNH BEE00229830-2
Overview
Reprinted with permission from: Mitchell, T.B. 1962 Bees of the Eastern United States. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin No. 152.


FEMALE—Length 9.5-11.5 mm., breadth of abdomen 4-5 mm.; black, the apical half of mandibles yellowish in part on outer surface; segments of flagellum beyond the 2nd brownish-ferruginous beneath, piceous above; apical tarsal segments becoming brownish-testaceous, spurs pale yellowish; tegulae brownish; wings whitish-hyaline, veins pale testaceous to brownish; cheeks only slightly narrower than eyes; clypeus very slightly protuberant, its median length half the distance between eyes below; eyes slightly convergent below; segment 2 of flagellum somewhat more than half the length of basal segment; punctures of clypeus close, deep and quite coarse, those on labrum much finer but uniformly close; supraclypeal area with sparse, scattered punctures, the face laterally with fine but close and distinct punctures below level of antennae, becoming smooth and shining above between eyes and ocelli, the punctures minute and well separated but distinct, those below ocelli quite coarse and deep; vertex with fine and densely crowded punctures behind ocelli, and along posterior margin laterally; cheeks shining, with minute, well separated punctures, becoming somewhat coarser posteriorly; scutum somewhat shining between deep, distinct and quite coarse punctures, these rather sparse medially on posterior half, becoming finer and closer laterally and anteriorly, those on scutellum somewhat finer, distinct but rather close, uniformly distributed; pleura with quite close, coarse but rather shallow punctures, these becoming very fine and close posteriorly; posterior face of propodeum rather dull, punctures shallow, irregularly scattered, dorsal area dull and densely tessellate medially, becoming rather coarsely rugoso-striate along margin on each side, lateral faces dull in large part, punctures rather close but obscure, becoming more distinct but still close anteriorly and below where surface is more shining; disc of basal abdominal tergum dull, punctures shallow, well separated but rather coarse medially, becoming finer and closer laterally where they nearly reach the apical margin, the broad median apical area entirely impunctate; discs of following terga closely punctate across base, rather coarsely so on 2, more finely so on following terga, apical impressed areas rather well punctured but punctures exceedingly minute and rather widely separated, only the very narrow apical rims entirely impunctate; pygidium narrowly rounded at apex; pubescence of face and cheeks quite copious, entirely white, vertex with fuscous pubescence across top of head, fringed behind with whitish pubescence, and a few dark hairs below level of ocelli on each side; scutum and scutellum largely covered with erect, copious but rather short, fuscous or blackish pubescence, scutum narrowly whitish pubescent across anterior margin, the prothorax, pleura and propodeum entirely whitish pubescent; coxae, trochanters and femora largely whitish pubescent, the fore and mid tibiae pale pubescent except for an apical patch of more fuscous, appressed hairs, the basitarsi with dark hairs beneath; hind tibial scopa whitish, hairs quite densely plumose; basal abdominal tergum largely whitish pubescent, copiously so anteriorly, but with some appressed, blackish pubescence on each side of disc; tergum 2 with a basal white fascia, largely obscured by the preceding tergum, and a median, narrow, whitish fascia bordering the basal margin of the impressed area, disc otherwise covered with very short, suberect, fuscous pubescence, the apical area only very thinly pale pubescent; tergum 3 with a rather narrow fascia bordering the impressed area, disc basally with thin, whitish tomentum and a few more elongate, erect hairs, the shorter of these dark, the long erect hairs whitish, apical margin very thinly whitish pubescent; tergum 4 dark pubescent across basal area, the apical area completely covered with dense whitish tomentum; terga 5 and 6 entirely dark pubescent except for some pale hairs laterally.

MALE—Length 9 mm., breadth of abdomen 3-3.5 mm.; black, the clypeus entirely bright yellow, and labrum with a large basal yellow maculation, dark laterally and apically; antennal flagellum brownish-testaceous beneath, piceous above; apical tarsal segments becoming brownish-testaceous, spurs pale yellowish; tegulae brownish; wings whitish-hyaline, veins yellowish to testaceous; apical margins of abdominal terga broadly yellowish-hyaline and transparent; cheeks nearly as broad as eyes; clypeus only very slightly protuberant, its median length somewhat greater than half the distance between eyes below; eyes rather strongly convergent below; basal segment of flagellum extremely short, somewhat shorter than pedicel, segment 2 about five times as long as segment 1 and pedicel combined; punctures of clypeus rather fine and close laterally, somewhat more separated medially, rather obscure on the yellow surface, those on labrum somewhat more distinct, slightly separated on each side; supraclypeal area impunctate medially, lateral areas of face below level of antennae rather dull, finely and rather closely punctate becoming minute and less distinct above where the surface is shining between eyes and ocelli, the more median punctures below ocelli rather coarse and close; vertex very finely and densely punctate behind ocelli, and more narrowly along margin laterally; cheeks somewhat shining, punctures minute, but becoming rather deep and distinct toward posterior margin; scutum shining, punctures rather deep and distinct, becoming very sparse and rather fine over posterior half, rather close at extreme sides and anteriorly, those on scutellum rather fine and quite sparse; punctures of pleura rather coarse and deep, somewhat separated, becoming finer and closer posteriorly above mid coxae; posterior face of propodeum rather dull, punctures shallow and irregular, rather sparse on each side of mid-line, dorsal area dull, becoming irregularly and rather coarsely reticulate on each side, lateral faces dull, rather closely punctate posteriorly, punctures becoming rather sparse, shallow and obscure anteriorly and below; punctures of abdominal terga quite deep and distinct, rather coarse and close across base of the basal tergum, becoming finer toward apical margin, only the narrow rim entirely impunctate; punctures rather well separated on discs of terga 2 and 3, closer and finer on 4, and much closer on 5, rather evenly distributed on each, apical impressed areas largely impunctate; tergum 5 with a short but acute angle on each extreme side, and 6 with a corresponding more elongate and slender spine; pubescence quite copious and elongate, entirely white on head, thorax, legs and basal abdominal tergum, only the basitarsi with some more yellowish pubescence beneath; discs of abdominal terga 2-6 with thin but rather copious and erect, whitish pubescence that does not obscure the surface, apical impressed areas fringed basally with narrow whitish fasciae, these more nearly apical in position on the more apical terga, and tergum 2 with a basal, rather thin fascia which is usually covered by the preceding plate; median length of pygidial plate somewhat greater than basal width, margins carinate, slightly convergent apically, becoming rather abruptly narrowed toward the narrowly truncate apex; sterna 7 and 8 and genital armature resembling those in agilis (fig. 84).

DISTRIBUTION — New York to North Carolina and Mississippi, west to Arkansas, July to October.

FLOWER RECORDS—LaBerge (1961) lists species of Aster, Bidens, Boltonia, Chrysopsis, Gerardia, Helenium, Helianthus, Lacinaria, Lepachys, Liatris, Prionopsis, Solidago and Vernonia.

Names
Scientific source:

Supported by

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FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Asteraceae  Aster ericoides @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Solidago sp @ BBSL (2)

Vernonia @ AMNH_BEE (1)

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Updated: 2017-10-23 05:12:05 gmt
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