Basic steps:
  1. Answer one or more questions on right by clicking checkboxes. It's okay to check multiple boxes. Then click any 'search' button.
  2. Results appear on left. Click the 'simplify' button to get more questions.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, narrowing down the possibilities.
  4. A 'COMPARE IMAGES' link appears on left when under 100 kinds match. Use this to compare kinds.
Click Restart to search again.
Click Guides to list other guides.
Click here if you're a new user.

Discover Life 28 kinds match:
Melissodes agilis  [popup] female
Melissodes apicata  [popup] female
Melissodes bidentis  [popup] female
Melissodes bimaculata  [popup] female
Melissodes boltoniae  [popup] female
Melissodes coloradensis  [popup] female
Melissodes communis  [popup] female
Melissodes comptoides  [popup] female
Melissodes coreopsis  [popup] female
Melissodes denticulata  [popup] female
Melissodes dentiventris  [popup] female
Melissodes desponsa  [popup] female
Melissodes druriella  [popup] female
Melissodes fimbriata  [popup] female
Melissodes fumosa  [popup] female
Melissodes illata  [popup] female
Melissodes manipularis  [popup] female
Melissodes menuachus  [popup] female
Melissodes mitchelli  [popup] female
Melissodes nivea  [popup] female
Melissodes pilleata  [popup] female
Melissodes subillata  [popup] female
Melissodes tepaneca  [popup] female
Melissodes tincta  [popup] female
Melissodes trinodis  [popup] female
Melissodes tuckeri  [popup]
Melissodes vernoniae  [popup] female
Melissodes wheeleri  [popup] female


REMAINING (number with state)
Abdomen, T1, color of hair on shoulders and base, not counting the hair present on the anterior face of T1 that faces the propodeum
 All light (23)
 Mixed light and dark (4)
 All dark (2)
Abdomen, T2 and T3, position of apical hair bands
 Set back from the rim, especially in the center (24)
 Lacking hair bands (5)
 Set on the rim (5)
Abdomen, T2, pits across the middle of the DEPRESSED apical portion, posterior to hair band, if present - Check from all angles carefully as pits may be shallow and hard to see
 Present, often fine as pinpricks, each pit may have a hair in it (20)
 Absent, completely or almost completely unpitted (19)
 Hair band covering this area (6)
Abdomen, T4, color of hair band bordering rim, - Sometimes the band may move back from the rim in the center - Be careful of worn specimens with hairs rubbed off
 Completely light (21)
 White with a spot of dark hairs medially (13)
 Completely dark (9)
 Dark and light colored hairs intermixed (5)
 Black with two large, lateral patches of white hair, widely interrupted medially (3)
 Lacking a hair band, with only few, scattered, dark hairs (3)
Head, galaea, appearance of apical 2/3 of the top surface, look carefully on high magnification
 Shiny, surface smooth except for few a sparse pits bearing short hairs (20)
 Surface slightly to moderately roughened or scaley, as if covered by a thin, fine, reptilian skin, pits may or may not be present (17)
Head, vertex, color of hair - These hairs include those on the actual vertex and those that may be coming up from underneath the back of the head
 With both light and dark hairs (18)
 All light (16)
 All dark (7)
M. agilis vs M. trinodis
 M. agilis - Band of hair along the rim of T4 almost always entirely white and occupying half or more of the entire segments longitudinal length - Directly behind or at the very base of the white hair bands on T4 and on T3 are single, thicker, unbranched, scattered, long hairs that are either upright or leaning slightly towards the rim, these are always white - Veins in the wings tend to be pale yellow to light brown (1)
 M. trinodis - Band of hair along the rim of T4 almost always either black or dark brown in the center, at times the entire segment can be dark, but most often the hairs on the sides are white, at times, particularly in older specimens, much of the hair along the rim may be absent, usually, but not always there is a thin band of white hair that runs from side to side behind the dark hairs across the longitudinal middle of the segment - Directly behind or at the very base of the white hair bands on T4 and on T3 are single, thicker, unbranched, scattered, long hairs that are either upright or leaning slightly towards the rim these are always dark brown or black, note that sometimes all the hairs on T4 are dark but these same hairs are still present - Veins in the wings tend to be dark brown (1)
M. bidentis, M. dentiventris, M. desponsa versus M. trinodis
 M. bidentis, M. dentiventris, M. desponsa - T2-3 without obvious white hairs bands although there can be a very narrow strip of white hairs along the base of T2 coming out from under the rim of T1 (3)
 M. trinodis - Hair on mesepisternum entirely pale, including on the anterior face and underneath - Hairs on vertex and coming up from behind the head entirely pale or with just a few black hairs near the ocelli - T2-3 with complete or partial white hair bands running latitudinally across the segments (1)
M. bidentis, M. dentiventris, M. desponsa Species with T3-5 without white hair bands and pale hairs present on scutum, note there can be a tiny set of black hairs in the center of the posterior edge of the scutum
 M. bidentis At least some hairs on the clypeus nearly as long as on the rest of the face and all hairs pale - Mesepisternum with extensive pale hairs, black hairs restricted to the anterior edge and ventral portion of the segment - The unpitted portion of the rim of T2 extends back across half or more of the segment, although this is based on only a small number of specimens observed - In direct comparison smaller Generally uncommon (1)
 M. dentiventris Hairs on the clypeus nearly as long as on the rest of the face and over half black with pale hairs usually lining the basal margin - Mesepisternum with a patch of pale hairs extending a little less than half way down - The unpitted portion of the rim of T2 extends back only about one quarter or less of the segment - In direct comparison larger - Generally uncommon (1)
 M. desponsa Hairs on the clypeus much shorter than long hairs on the rest of the face and entirely black - Mesepisternum almost entirely black, with only a small patch of white hairs directly below the tegula and pronotal lobe The unpitted portion of the rim of T2 extends back across half or more of the segment - In direct comparison larger Usually the most common (1)
M. boltoniae, M. communis, M. coreopsis, M. nivea, M. pilleata
 M. boltoniae - Rim of T2 between white hair band and the rim with scattered small pits - The hairs emerging from the small pits on T3 between the rim and the thick white hair band are DARK at least in the central area - T4 with a band of white hairs along the entire rim or with only a small patch or stripe of black hairs in the center, but these never extending more than one-third of the way along the rim - Surprisingly difficult to tell from smaller M. communis, the best character appears to be that the length of flagellar segment 1 is clearly less than the combined length of F2 and F3, length given as 10-12mm by LaBerge, never with dark hairs on the underside of the mesepisternum, scopa tends to be off-white (1)
 M. communis - Rim of T2 between white hair band and the rim with scattered small pits - The hairs emerging from the small pits on T3 between the rim and the thick white hair band are dark at least in the central area - Relatively larger than the other species - T4 with a band of white hairs along the entire rim or with only a small patch or stripe of black hairs in the center, but these never extending more than one-third of the way along the rim - Surprisingly difficult to tell from M. boltoniae, the best character appears to be that the length of flagellar segment 1 is equal to or slightly longer than the combined lengths of F2 and F3, length given as 12-15mm by LaBerge, some individuals will have dark hairs on the underside of the mesepisternum by the legs, scopa tends to be tinted with an orange hue (1)
 M. coreopsis - Rim of T2 between white hair band and the rim with no pits - The hairs emerging from the small pits on T3 between the rim and the thick white hair band are dark at least in the central area - T4 with a band of white hairs along the entire rim or with only a small patch or stripe of black hairs in the center, but these never extending more than one-third of the way along the rim (1)
 M. nivea - Rim of T2 between white hair band and the rim with small pits - The hairs emerging from the small pits on T3 between the rim and the thick white hair band are WHITE - T4 with a band of white hairs along the entire rim or with only a small patch or stripe of black hairs in the center, but these never extending more than one-third of the way along the rim (1)
 M. pilleata - T2 with central rim area with scattered hairs coming out of very fine pits, these decreasing in density and finally disappearing toward the rim - The hairs emerging from the small pits on T3 between the rim and the thick white hair band are dark at least in the central area - T4 with a clear band of dark hairs along almost the entire rim followed immediately by a band of white hairs (1)
M. boltoniae, M. fumosa, M. tincta - At this point we don t feel that these species can be safely separated
 M. boltoniae (1)
 M. fumosa (1)
 M. tincta (1)
M. coloradensis, M. tuckeri, M. vernoniae
 M. coloradensis - UNIQUE in that the wings are distinctly and unmistakably DARK OR INFUSCATED - The wide depressed rim of T2 is extensively, densely, and unmistakably invaded in the central portion by pitting, at In direct comparison, a much LARGER bee (1)
 M. tuckeri - Wings clear, without any coloration - The wide depressed rim of T2 is extensively, densely, and unmistakably invaded in the central portion by pitting - T4 with a distinct white, latitudinal hair band behind which, or basally, is a band of black hairs that is clearly visible even when T3 overlaps T4 extensively (1)
 M. vernoniae - Wings clear, without any coloration - The wide depressed rim of T2 is essentially WITHOUT PITS, at most there are a few obscure, difficult to see pits on the far sides - The central portion of T4 almost entirely covered with white hairs with black hairs present only scattered along the very basal edge and therefore often covered by the rim of T3 and not visible (1)
M. communis and M. druriella vs M. coreopsis, M. menuachus, M. nivea, M. illata, M. subillata, and M. wheeleri - T2 at the very far side just before the edge of the rim of the segment makes a sharp curve or jog, width of the BARE portion of the depressed apical rim vs the width of the apical HAIR BAND
 Bare portion less than 1X as wide as hair band (6)
 Bare portion 1X-2X as wide as hair band (4)
M. communis vs M. druriella
 M. communis - The hairs on the wide depressed area of the rim of T4 primarily white, with a patch of black hairs in the center along the middle one-fifth to one-third of the rim (1)
 M. druriella - The hairs on the wide depressed area of the rim of T4 OFTEN entirely dark, if a band of white hairs present then black hairs line the middle half to the entire rim of the segment even though the band of hairs remains narrow (1)
M. communis, M. comptoides, M. trinodis, M. subillata
 M. communis - Often confused with M. comptoides - Pits on the rear fourth of scutum not uniformly spaced, with numerous instances where the spacing between pits is greater than 1 pit diameter - F1 shorter than F2 plus F3 - Hairs on outer face of basitarsis tan or sand colored, hairs on inner surface fairly bright red to a dark brick red - In comparison to M. comptoides, the pits on the rim of T2 sparser and shallower, hairs in rear half of scutum and center of scutellum tend to be black rather than pale, but this is not always true (1)
 M. comptoides - Pits on the rear fourth of scutum with almost no instances where the spacing between pits is greater than 1 pit diameter - Hairs on outer part of basitarsis tan to sand colored, hairs on inner part USUALLY a very dark brown to nearly black, sometimes with reddish overtones - F1 as long or longer than F2 plus F3 (1)
 M. subillata - F1 varies from clearly shorter than F2 plus F3 to about as long - UNIQUE in that the bare rim of T2 has no pits or hairs present, in the others there are at least a scattering, additionally, the scutum has dark hairs that run from the junction with the scutellum through at least three-quarters of the rest of the segment, the others have at most a small patch of dark hairs that take up one third or less of the segment - F4 varies from no apparent hairs along the rim to hairs largely white to white with a great deal of black hair long the central rim area (1)
 M. trinodis - F1 clearly shorter than F2 plus F3 - UNIQUE in that the hairs on T4 are either all dark or if a band of light colored hairs are present then the there is at least a thin line of dark hairs that border over half of the very edge of the rim - In comparison the light colored hairs on the terga have a dark orange, bunt umber hue to them in contrast to the bright white of the others (1)
M. communis, M. coreopsis, M. nivea
 M. communis - UNIQUE in that the central third of the wide depressed rim of T2 with NO pits, the other 2 have minute but visible pits with small hairs coming out of them - Compared to M. coreopsis it is slightly larger, has a thin uniform band of white hairs set back from the rim on T2 that is complete and of uniform thickness across the tergite and the sternite hairs tend to be almost completely dark (1)
 M. coreopsis - UNIQUE in that the scattered hairs found coming out of the very sparse pits on the otherwise bare rim of T3 are dark, be careful as these hairs often look white, best viewed from multiple angles, comparing the color of the hairs in the white hair band to those along the rim - Compared to M. communis the white hair band set back from the rim of T2 is overall wider, tapering towards the center of the tergite where in many individuals it forms a small break with no or few hairs, additionally the stenite hairs tend towards pale, sometimes nealry completely pale and other times with pale tips to otherwise dark hairs (1)
 M. nivea - UNIQUE in that the scattered hairs found coming out of the very sparse pits on the otherwise bare rim of T3 are white, be careful as these hairs can look black or white, best viewed from multiple angles, comparing the color of the hairs in the white hair band to those along the rim (1)
M. coreopsis vs M. druriella, M. subillata, M. illata
 Others - Hair on labrum dark, with the possibility that hairs around the rim of the labrum may be light, look closely and carefully at all angles as initial impressions of hair color can be deceptive - Hair behind the ocelli a mix of dark and light hairs in M. illata and M. subillata, but almost all very dark in M. druriella (3)
 M. coreopsis - Hair on labrum clearly blond to golden blond - Hair behind ocelli and coming up from behind the head almost entirely white, there may be a few black hairs just behind the ocelli (1)
M. denticulata vs M. druriella and M. tincta - Combination of characters - All species about the same size
 M. druriella, M. tincta - M. denticulata told from M.druriella by the presence of dark hairs on the underside and front face of the mesepisturnum in M. druriella - From M. tincta by the complete lack of pits or hairs on the wide bare rim of T2, M. tincta has scattered small to minute pits with tiny hair coming out of them in this same - See explain for more details and hints (2)
 M. denticulata (1)
M. denticulata, M. subillata, M. illata - Note, a difficult group to differentiate, particularly if you can t compare to known material
 M. denticulata - Go to the CENTER of the rim of T4, usually there is a small patch along the rim with no hair or with a few scattered black hairs, that is notched out of the large band of white hair that travels along the rim, however, unlike M. illata, there are no dark hairs behind this patch but only the prominent white band of hairs that on either side of the central bare patch joins the rim - On the upper part of the mesepisternum, the surface is so densely pitted that there are NO spaces inbetween and the pits actually overlap one another, not that the other species also have very dense pitting and a few may overlap but between most is a SMALL interstitial space - UNIQUE, but difficult to see, especially when carrying pollen, are the slightly s-shaped branches that occur off of the scopal hairs on the hind tibia, note that only some of the branches have this feature and we are not talking about the main stem of the hair but the BRANCHES which have to be viewed under high magnification (1)
 M. illata - Go to the CENTER of the rim of T4, usually there is at least a small patch along the rim with no hair that is notched out of the large band of white hair that travels along the rim, sometimes this patch is quite small, behind this small open patch are some dark upright hairs usually brown in color, behind those is the prominent white band of hairs that on either side of the central bare patch rejoins the rim and goes across the entire segment - On the upper part of the mesepisternum, the surfaces between the pits are CLEARLY inscribed with microscopic lines, dulling the surface - In direct comparison smaller than the other two - More of a northern distribution than the other 2 species (1)
 M. subillata - Go to the CENTER of the rim of T4, usually there is at least a small but usually a substantial extensive patch along the rim with no hair that AT TIMES takes up almost the entire length of the segment, behind the unpitted open portion of the rim lies the prominent white band of hairs with NO intervening dark hairs - On the upper part of the mesepisternum, the surfaces between the pits are only slightly inscribed with microscopic lines, the surface reflecting light (1)
M. druriella vs M. trinodis
 M. druiriella - Hairs on lower three-quarters to two-thirds of scutum usually all black - Hairs behind ocelli usually primarily black - Hairs on scutellum usually entirely black with a fringe of white hairs near the joint with the metanotum (1)
 M. trinodis - Hairs on scutum either all light colored, orange-rust to dirty white, or with only a very small patch of dark hairs taking up less than 20 percent of segment- Hairs behind ocelli usually primarily light - Hairs on scutellum usually entirely light with a possible few dark hairs toward the border with the scutum (1)
M. druriella, M. fumosa, M. pilleata, M. subillata, M. tincta
 M. druriella - UNIQUE in having from two-thirds to one-third of the lower portion of the mesepisturnum and its underside covered in dark hairs, the rest have only light hairs present or just a few scattered dark hairs - The bare depressed central area of the rim of T2 with no pits - In comparison, this species has a much greater proportion of dark hairs than the other species and those hairs are also darker (1)
 M. fumosa - UNIQUE in that there are NO black hairs present above the level of the antennae and below the level of the ocelli, the other species have at least a few dark hairs near the inner upper margin of the eyes, look closely - The bare depressed central area of the rim of T2 may or may not have scattered pits - In direct comparison this species clearly smaller than all the others, 7-10mm (1)
 M. pilleata - The bare depressed central area of the rim of T2 with scattered minute pits towards the base these gradually decreasing towards the rim, usually these pits have small hairs arising from them - We have seen no clear differences between this species and M. tincta using the identified specimens at hand, LaBerge mentions that they can be differentiated by the fine tesselations on the galea on M. tincta vs none on M. pilleata, but the M. pilleata paratypes we had appeared to be tesselate and we couldn t see the galea on the M. tincta specimens, it may be best to leave these two unresolved (1)
 M. subillata - The bare depressed central area of the rim of T2 with no pits (1)
 M. tincta - The bare depressed central area of the rim of T2 with scattered minute pits, usually these pits have small hairs arising from them (1)
M. fimbriata vs all - Legs, scopal hairs
 Others - At least a quarter of hairs clearly BRANCHED (27)
 M. fimbriata - Vast majority of hairs SIMPLE (1)
M. illata, M. subillata, M. denticulata vs M. fumosa, M. pilleata, M. tincta
 M. fumosa, M. pilleata, M. tincta - T2 with scattered pits present within the wide, bare, depressed, central area of the rim, these usually containing a small hair - The center of the rim of T4 usually completely covered with hair, be aware that in old specimens hair is often worn away from this area and in some specimens dark hairs are present, but but only sparsely (3)
 M. illata, M. subillata, M. denticulata - T2 with no pits present within the wide, bare, depressed, central area of the rim - The center of the rim of T4 usually with a significant bare patch with no hairs, this can vary from about one-fifth to nearly the entire lateral distance of the rim (3)
M. menuachus, M. nivea, M. tepaneca, M. trinodis
 M. menuachus - Both hair directly behind the ocelli and coming up from behind the rear of the head are white - UNIQUE in that the wide, central, bare portion of the depressed rim of T2 with no pits - In comparison, much larger than the others, 13-15mm (1)
 M. nivea - At least a few hairs directly behind the ocelli are dark and all of those from behind the rear of the head are white, look closely as the hairs are not jet black and it is possible that in a few individuals there are no black hairs - Wide, central, bare portion of the depressed rim of T2 with small but prominent pits, each with a white hair - The presence of WHITE hairs emerging from the pits in the center of depressed rim of T2 is UNIQUE, but be careful as such white hairs will take on a dark aspect against the abdomen s dark background, look at all angles (1)
 M. tepaneca - Hair directly behind the ocelli is dark and all hair from behind the rear of the head is white - Wide, central, bare portion of the depressed rim of T2 with small but prominent pits each with a dark hair (1)
 M. trinodis - Both hair found directly behind the ocelli and coming up from behind the rear of the head are white, caution a few individuals may have a FEW dark hairs directly behind the ocelli - Wide, central, bare portion of the depressed rim of T2 with small but prominent pits each with a dark hair - UNIQUE in that the hair on T4 varies from completely dark to having a band of white hair with black hairs lining the rim, the other species usually have only white hairs lining the rim or with a patch of black hairs covering only the central third of the rim, this particularly true for M. tepaneca, but M. trinodis always has black hair along the rim for over half its lateral length and usually all of its length - In comparison, the pale hairs on the abdomen are tinged with dark orange or a burnt umber in contrast to the other species which are white to off-white (1)
M. mitchelli vs M. nivea - Abdomen, white bands of hair
 M. mitchelli - Lateral band of white hairs on T3 directly bordering the rim (1)
 M. nivea - Lateral band of white hairs on T3 set back away from the rim leaving a band of bare integument with only a few scattered hairs (1)
M. tepaneca vs M. comptoides and M. communis - Difficult to tell apart group, some may not be discernable
 M. communis and M. comptoides - The transverse white hair band on T2 is relatively more arched as it crosses latitudinally across the segment, thus, in the center of T2 the distance from the rim to the edge of the transverse white band is greater by one third or more than this same distance measured at the far sides where the tergal segment begins to curve over the sides - In the center of T2, the distance between the rim and edge of the white transverse band of T2 is clearly greater than the distance between the basal side of that same white band and the edge of the second white band that borders the very base of the segment - In direct comparison, wings are slightly brown (2)
 M. tepaneca - The transverse white hair band on T2 is nearly straight as it crosses latitudinally across the tergal segment, in the center of T2 the distance from the rim to the edge of this transverse white band is only a little bit longer than this same distance measured at the far sides of the tergite at the point where the segment begins to sharply curve over the side of the abdomen - In the center of T2, the distance between the rim and the apical side of the white transverse band is about equal to the distance between the basal side of the transverse band the edge of the second white band that borders the very base of the segment - In direct comparison, wings are almost completely clear (1)
State or province where bee was collected
 IL (24)
 IN (24)
 KY (24)
 MD (22)
 MS (22)
 NC (22)
 SC (22)
 VA (22)
 WI (21)
 DE (20)
 MI (20)
 NJ (20)
 OH (20)
 WV (20)
 GA (19)
 PA (19)
 TN (19)
 AL (18)
 DC (18)
 FL (17)
 NY (16)
 Ontario (16)
 SD (14)
 MA (11)
 CT (10)
 RI (10)
 ME (9)
 NH (9)
 VT (9)
 New Brunswick (6)
 Nova Scotia (6)
 Quebec (5)
 Newfoundland and Labrador (3)
 Prince Edward Island (3)
Subgenus
 Eumelissodes (18)
 Melissodes (4)
 Apomelissodes (3)
 Callimelissodes (2)
 Heliomelissodes (1)
Thorax, mesepisternum, color of hair
 All light (23)
 Light on top, dark on bottom and on face that curves to the front (7)
 Mixed light and dark (5)
 All dark (3)
Thorax, pronotal lobes, color of hair - This includes all types of hair that might by on the lobes
 All light (23)
 Mixed light and dark (8)
 All dark (2)
Thorax, scutum and scutellum, color of hair - Be sure to look at all angles as dark hair can look very light when viewed from the top rather than the side or rear
 More than half of both plates covered in dark, edges likely outlined with light hairs, especially upper edge of scutum (19)
 All light (10)
 Light with a small spot of dark in the center of the scutum, scutellum may be light or may be dark in the center and outlined in light (8)
 All dark (6)