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Coelioxys alternata Say, 1837
Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Megachilidae   Coelioxys

Coelioxys alternata, female, face
Smithsonian Institution, Entomology Department · 9
Coelioxys alternata, female, face

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Coelioxys alternata, female, side
Smithsonian Institution, Entomology Department · 9
Coelioxys alternata, female, side
Coelioxys alternata, female, top
Smithsonian Institution, Entomology Department · 9
Coelioxys alternata, female, top

Coelioxys alternata, female, wing
Smithsonian Institution, Entomology Department · 9
Coelioxys alternata, female, wing
Coelioxys alternata fem lat comp ps
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Coelioxys alternata fem lat comp ps

Coelioxys alternata male lat comp ps
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Coelioxys alternata male lat comp ps
Coelioxys alternata, M, back ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, M, back ---.. ZS PMax

Coelioxys alternata, M, face ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, M, face ---.. ZS PMax
Coelioxys alternata, M, side ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, M, side ---.. ZS PMax

Coelioxys alternata, M, back ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, M, back ---.. ZS PMax
Coelioxys alternata, M, face ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, M, face ---.. ZS PMax

Coelioxys alternata, M, side ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, M, side ---.. ZS PMax
Coelioxys alternata, F, Back, Virginia, Franklin County ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, F, Back, Virginia, Franklin County ---.. ZS PMax

Coelioxys alternata, F, Face, Virginia, Franklin County ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, F, Face, Virginia, Franklin County ---.. ZS PMax
Coelioxys alternata, F, Side, Virginia, Franklin County ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Coelioxys alternata, F, Side, Virginia, Franklin County ---.. ZS PMax
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 13 mm.; black, including legs; eyes subparallel; lateral ocelli considerably nearer each other than to eyes, and slightly nearer margin of vertex than to each other; cheeks narrower than eyes, carinate posteriorly, terminated beneath by a rather acute angle; clypeus very slightly convex, apical margin crenulate; middle tooth of mandible low and inconspicuous; labrum considerably longer than the basal width; punctures rather sparse and shallow across vertex and between eyes and ocelli, with a slightly swollen impunctate area below anterior ocellus enclosing few very close and fine punctures, a median raised impunctate line reaching from this to the clypeal margin; cheeks rather closely punctate, becoming finely rugose below, punctures fine and close around ocelli, rather shallow and irregular but quite close on the shining elypeus; thoracic punctures coarse and deep, well separated over most of scutum, but very close on scutellum, close on pleura above, becoming distinctly but not widely separated below, propodeum quite smooth but rather dull, with fine, shallow and vague punctures evident, dorsal area velvety, with a narrow line of fine, obscure striations along upper margin; carina of tubercles hyaline, elongate, erect and conspicuous; scutellum rounded, posterior margin slightly elevated medially; axillae slender and distinct, total length not exceeding median length of scutellum (fig. 64); wings subhyaline, recurrent veins reaching 2nd submarginal cell subequally distant from base and apex; coxal spines reduced to shining, triangular tubercles; transverse grooves of abdominal terga 2-4 submedian in position, obliterated medially, apical margins of terga not depressed medially, but becoming very narrowly and strongly depressed at extreme sides; tergum 6 elongate triangular, the tip narrowly rounded, lateral margins grooved toward apex, shallowly concave on each side (fig. 65); sternum 6 narrowly rounded apically, reaching much beyond tip of tergum; punctures of abdominal terga rather sparse medially, becoming quite close toward sides, especially basad of the transverse groove of each disc; tergum 6 with very fine, well separated punctures, these becoming very sparse across median area; abdominal sterna yellowishhyaline apically, discs with deep, distinct, well separated punctures, these becoming very fine and close over median area of 6, and finely rugoso-striate apically; pubescence very short and inconspicuous, entirely pale, forming obscure, tomentose bands on scutum anteriorly and laterally and on anterior and posterior margins of scutellum, the basal tergum with thin and narrow fascia, evident toward sides both basally and apically; basal grooves and apical margins of the following terga more less distinctly fasciate at extreme sides.


MALE — Length 10-12 mm.; black, the tegulae more or less testaceous-hyaline, and legs black; eyes very slightly convergent below; lateral ocelli subequally distant from eyes and margin of vertex, slightly nearer each other; cheeks narrower than eyes, sharply carmate posteriorly, ending at a conspicuous, inferior angle above which it is excavated; clypeus slightly convex, apical margin with 4 low but distinct tubercles; median length of labrum slightly greater than basal width; punctures of vertex coarse and deep but well separated, an impunctate ridge at upper end of each eye, and anterior ocellus surrounded by a largely impunctate, swollen area; punctures of cheeks rather coarse, close and irregular, becoming irregularly and more finely rugose below, punctures fine and densely crowded over median area of face and on clypeus laterally, this more sparsely, irregularly sculptured medially; punctures of scutum coarse, deep, slightly separated in large part, becoming quite close at extreme sides, scutellum very coarsely and closely punctate; punctures of pleura coarse, deep and close above, becoming well separated but hardly sparse below; propodeum dull and densely tessellate, punctures fine, very shallow and obscure, becoming quite close on posterior face, dorsal area smooth and impunctate although dull and tessellate, becoming very narrowly and obscurely striate along upper margin; transverse carina of tubercles strongly elevated and conspicuous; scutellum rounded, hind margin slightly elevated medially; axillae short, total length about equal to median length of scutellum; wings subhyaline basally becoming faintly clouded apically, recurrent veins reaching 2nd submarginal cell subequally distant from base and apex; coxal spines reduced to short, carinate tubercles; transverse grooves of abdominal terga sub-basal in position, entirely obliterated medially, largely occupied by densely tomentose fasciae, tergum 1 with a nearly complete, apical fascia, and terga 2 and 3 apically fasciate toward the sides; tergum 6 deeply excavated medially, the dorsal projections irregularly multidentate, ventral spines acute but rather short, lateral spines short but distinct; tergum 7 largely retracted, triangularly acute; apical margin of sternum 4 deeply depressed, with a broad and deep, apical emargination formed by a pair of conspicuous, triangular spines, punctures of abdominal terga coarse, deep and distinct, quite sparse medially, becoming quite close laterally, very fine along margins of transverse grooves on 2 and 3; punctures of tergum 6 very close and rather fine; sternal plates deeply, coarsely and quite closely punctate, especially on the more apical plates; pubescence short, rather thin in general, greyish-white, rather copious around antennae and along margin of clypeus and on cheeks, rather dense around wing bases and on propodeum laterally; gonocoxites of genital armature somewhat enlarged toward apex, only very slightly exceeding penis valves in length, with a few rather short, fine hairs.

DISTRIBUTION — British Columbia to Ontario, Vermont and Massachusetts, south to Florida; April (in Florida) and May to September.
FLOWER RECORDS — Melilotus and Rhus. Robertson (1929) records this species on Helianthus, Lepachys, Petalostemum, Pycnanthemum, Rudbeckia, Verbena and Verbesina.
HOST—J. T. Medler has reared alternata from nests of Megachile pugnata.


Coelioxys alternata wisconsinensis Cockerell
This agrees with typical alternata in details of structure and sculpture, differing in both sexes in the color of the legs and tegulae which are bright ferruginous in most specimens. Occasional specimens exhibit some degree of intergradation between the black in alternata or the red in this form.

DISTRIBUTION — Michigan, Ontario and New York, south to North Carolina; June and July.
HOST — This subspecies also has been reared from a nest of Megachile pugnata by J. T. Medler.




Reprinted with permission from: Baker J. R. 1975. Taxonomy of five nearctic subgenera of Coelioxys (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin 50(12):649-730.


FEMALE. Agrees with description and figures of Coelioxys texana except as follows: (1) Length 10-16 mm; (2) integument black or becoming dark reddish- brown to ferruginous on femora, tibiae, and metasoma; (3) pubescence white except golden on tarsi; (4) ocular hairs 0.08 mm long; (5) clypeus with setal fringe scant; (6) clypeoantennal distance shorter than lateral margin of clypeus; (7) paraocular area rugose, almost hidden by 03- 0.4 mm setae; (8) rest of face with median impunctate ridge; (9) antennocular distance subequal to clypeoantennal distance and to interantennal distance; (10) ocellar area with impunctate ridges not as conspicuous as those in Fig. 10; (11) interocellar distance greater than ocelloccipital distance and less than ocellocular distance; (12) vertex with longer, more copious setae than shown in Fig. 10; (13) gena with ventral angle acute, approaching 60°; (14) hypostomal area of the gena appearing bare; (15) mandible slender (Fig. 11B); (16) scutum with peripheral fasciae less conspicuous than shown in Fig. 10; thin setae on disc longer than shown in Fig. 10; (17) mesepisternum with lateral surface closely punctate, pubescence long and slender, lateral surface with as many or more punctures than minute punctures; (18) scutellum not angulate medially as seen from above, with carina separating surfaces (Fig. 14E, F); (19) axilla short (Fig. 14E); (21) front coxal spine reduced, sometimes slightly curved posteriorly; (22) terga 1-6 in general more slender than those of Fig. 10; (23) sterna 1-5 with apical fasciae of sparse hairs, punctures laterally with short, slender setae, punctures rather uniform throughout; sternum 6 acute apically (Fig. 14A), ventrad with punctures contiguous basally, in parallel rows.

MALE. Agrees with description and figures of Coelioxys texana except as follows: (25) integument as in female (2 above); (27) ocular hairs of medium length (about 0.1 mm); (28) clypeus hidden by setae in some specimens, coarsely punctured, shining when revealed; (29) clypeoantennal distance as in female (3 above); (30) paraocular area as in female (7 above); (31) rest of face with weak impunctate line to subocellar area; (32) clypeoantennal distance subequal to interantennal distance, greater than antennocular; (33) ocellar area as in female (10 above); (34) ocelloccipital distance sub-equal to ocellocular distance and greater than interocellar distance; (35) vertex with more slender upright setae than shown in Fig. 12A; (36-42) gena, hypostomal area of the gena, mandible, scutum, mesepisternum, scutellum, axilla as in female (13-19 above); (43) metanotum with almost no appressed setae; (44) front coxal spine pointing ventrally, about as long as broad; (45) tergum 1 with median fascia not as complete as shown in Fig. 12 B, tergum 6 with carina denticulate (Fig. 12D), tergum 7 with apical projection slightly recurved, shorter than shown in Fig. 13A; (46) sterna 1-4 with apical fasciae interrupted medially, sternum 6 with a few slender scattered setae medioapically (Fig. 13G), genital armature with ventral lobe of gonocoxite acute apically (Fig. 131).

HOST RECORDS. Medler (1964) reported rearing Coelioxys alternata from trap nests provisioned by Megachile (Sayapis) pugnata pugnata.
DISTRIBUTION AND SEASON IN FLIGHT. Although rare throughout its range, Coelioxys alternata occurs as far north as Edmonton, Alberta (Fig. 16). In the southernmost extensions of its range, C. alternata occurs only at higher elevations. One specimen from the American Museum of Natural History labeled “Tex. Collection Belfrage” is probably mislabeled. Somewhat surprising in view of its coast to coast distribution is a lack of specimens from California. The host bee, Megachile pugnata pugnata occurs as far west in California as the eastern sides of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. Coelioxys alternata has been collected from June 24 to October 13.
HABITAT. Mesic conditions prevail throughout most of the localities from which Coelioxys alternata has been collected. Dryer vegetational types include areas classified as bluestem prairie (Andropogon), oak savana (Quercus, Andropogon), and oak-juniper woodland (Quercus, Juniperus). Further north, C. alternata appears to be associated with various coniferous and hardwood forests.
GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION. Variation in Coelioxys alternata does not seem to be related to geography. The color of the legs and tegulae grades from black (previously considered to be C. alternata wisconsinensis) to ferruginous. Medler (1964) reared both black and ferruginous forms from the same domicile. Actually most specimens exhibit an intermediate condition, and all degrees of melanism are found throughout the range. ‘The coexistence of forms with all degrees of melanism throughout the range, morphological agreement among forms, and identical host data were major factors contributing to the synonymyzing of C. alternata wisconsinensis and C. alternata alternata.

Names
Scientific source:

Supported by

Hosts · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Asteraceae  Centaurea cyanus @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Helianthus sp @ BBSL (2)

Ratibida pinnata @ MLSB__N16- (1)

Rudbeckia hirta @ CUIC_ENT (1); AMNH_BEE (1)
_  Withheld @ BBSL (1)

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Updated: 2017-12-12 11:09:02 gmt
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