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Melissodes communis Cresson, 1878
Melissodes hortivagans Cockerell, 1905; Melissodes martini Cockerell, 1905; Melissodes variabilis Robertson, 1905; Melissodes xanthopteralis Cockerell, 1906; Melissodes manni Cockerell, 1924; Melissodes hortivagans melanotica Cockerell, 1925; Melissodes alopex Cockerell, 1928; Melissodes (Melissodes) communis alopex Cockerell, 1928, valid subspecies

Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Melissodes
Subgenus: Melissodes

Melissodes communis, male, back ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 9
Melissodes communis, male, back ---.. ZS PMax

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    Note that male individuals in the Plains tend to have no to very few dark hairs on the scutum but usually the hairs throughout the entire central area of the scutellum are dark. Similarly, the sparse hairs directly behind the transverse white hair band on T2 tend to be all white in the Plains and either mixed or all dark in the East.
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Melissodes communis, male, side ---.. ZS PMax
© Copyright source/photographer · 9
Melissodes communis, male, side ---.. ZS PMax
Melissodes communis, Mid-Atlantic Phenology
© Copyright source/photographer · 9
Melissodes communis, Mid-Atlantic Phenology

Melissodes communis FEM mm - f
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Melissodes communis FEM mm - f
Melissodes communis MALE CF
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Melissodes communis MALE CF

Melissodes communis, male, back ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes communis, male, back ---.
Melissodes communis, female, face ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes communis, female, face ---.

Melissodes communis, male, face ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes communis, male, face ---.
Melissodes communis, male, side ---
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes communis, male, side ---

Melissodes communis, male, side ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes communis, male, side ---.
Melissodes communis Female
Anthony Abbate · 3
Melissodes communis Female

Melissodes communis, female1
Nancy Lee Adamson · 1
Melissodes communis, female1
Melissodes communis, female2
Nancy Lee Adamson · 1
Melissodes communis, female2

Melissodes communis, female3
Nancy Lee Adamson · 1
Melissodes communis, female3
Melissodes communis, female4
Nancy Lee Adamson · 1
Melissodes communis, female4
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 11.5-14.5 mm., breadth abdomen 4-5 mm.; black, the mandibles somewhat reddened apically, segments of flagellum beyond the 2nd brownish-testaceous beneath, black above; apical tarsal segments becoming more brownish-testaceous, spurs pale testaceous; tegulae piceous anteriorly, becoming more testaceous posteriorly and along outer margin; wings lightly infuscated, veins brownish to piceous; cheeks considerably narrower than eyes; clypeus only slightly protuberant, its median length half the distance between eyes below; eyes slightly convergent below; basal segment of flagellum nearly twice as long as shorter side of segment punctures of clypeus deep, distinct, quite close and rather coarse, becoming somewhat crowded and much finer toward apical rim; labrum very finely and densely punctate medially, becoming less crowded laterally; lateral areas of face above clypeal margin finely and rather closely punctate, the punctures becoming sparse above antennae medially, lateral areas nearly impunctate; vertex finely and closely punctate medially, punctures rather fine and close on cheeks posteriorly, becoming minute and hardly visible toward eyes; scutum shining, punctures quite coarse and deep, sparse in center of disc posteriorly, becoming quite fine and close laterally and anteriorly, fine but evenly distributed and rather close on scutellum; punctures of pleura deep, distinct, rather fine and quite close; posterior face of propodeum rather dull, punctures rather fine and close medially, becoming somewhat more widely separated on each side, dorsal area dull medially, punctures rather fine but distinct and slightly separated, becoming closer laterally, lateral faces quite uniformly, finely, closely and distinctly punctate; basal abdominal tergum dull across basal half, punctures very fine, shallow, rather widely separated, closer at extreme sides where they nearly reach apical margin, the broad median apical area entirely impunctate; terga 2 and very finely and rather closely punctate across base, punctures tecoming crowded laterally, impressed apical areas relatively smooth, with only widely scattered, exceedingly minute punctures at all evident; terga 4 and 5 very finely and densely rugose across base, impressed apical area of 4 only very minutely punctate beneath dense tomentum; median length of pygidium about equal to basal width, subtriangular, apex narrowly rounded; pubescence of head largely pale, with a few scattered, erect, fuscous hairs across vertex; scutum and scutellum largely fuscous pubescent, but the narrow anterior margin of scutum, and pleura and propodeum entirely, pale ochraceous pubescent; pubescence of legs largely pale, with some darker hairs on outer surface of fore and mid tibiae and basitarsi, the hind tibial scopa pale yellowish, scopal hairs sparsely but quite distinctly plumose; basal abdominal tergum with rather copious, erect, pale pubescence anteriorly and at extreme sides, with a few short dark hairs evident toward sides apically; tergum 2 with a rather broad, basal, white fascia that is usually partially covered by tergum 1, and with a narrow, submedian white fascia, intervening area dark, with short, subappressed blackish hairs visible; tergum 3 with a sub- median, quite narrow, white fascia, area between this and base more thinly covered with whitish tomentum; apical half of tergum 4 densely white tomentose to the rim, but this slightly interrupted on apical margin medially, basal area largely covered with erect, but rather short, blackish pubescence; apical impressed areas of terga 2 and 3 with rather sparse, short, subappressed, black hairs; terga 5 and 6 entirely covered with blackish pubescence, but the apical fimbria of 5 somewhat more fuscous medially.

MALE—Length 11-13 mm,. breadth of abdomen 3.5-5 mm.; black, the clypeus, labrum and basal half of mandibles bright yellow, mandibles apically becoming piceous; antennal flagellum testaceous beneath, piceous above, basal segment more piceous; tarsal segments of legs becoming testaceous, spurs pale yellow, tegulae largely testaceous; wings lightly infuscated, somewhat paler apically, veins testaceous to brownish; apical margins of abdominal terga becoming somewhat hyaline; cheeks considerably narrower than eyes; clypeus slightly protuberant, its median length somewhat greater than half the distance between eyes below; eyes very slightly convergent below; shorter side of basal segment of flagellum only very slightly longer than pedicel, segment 2 about five times as long; punctures of clypeus rather coarse and close but not crowded, rather obscure on the yellow surface, those on labrum somewhat closer, deeper and more distinct; lateral areas of face above clypeus finely and closely punctate, punctures becoming more minute above antennae, surface shining; vertex quite closely punctate behind ocelli; cheeks rather closely and distinctly punctate along posterior margin, becoming shining and nearly impunctate toward eyes; punctures of scutum, scutellum and pleura deep, distinct and quite coarse, rather sparse in center of scutum posteriorly, becoming closer and somewhat finer lateTally and anteriorly, rather well separated on scutellum but becoming quite close along anteTior and posterior margins, rather well separated on median area of pleura, becoming somewhat closer above and below; posterior face of propodeum rather sparsely punctate, dorsal area becoming much more closely punctate medially and along upper margin, lateral faces somewhat shining between quite deep and distinct but rather fine, irregularly scattered punctures; abdominal terga 1 and 2 with quite deep, distinct and rather fine punctures across base, these rather widely separated, becoming close only at extreme sides, apical impressed areas largely impunctate, invaded only slightly by very minute punctures; terga 3 and 4 much more finely and closely punctate medially, punctures very close at sides of 4, apical impressed areas largely impunctate; tergum 5 very finely and closely punctate across disc, apical impressed area impunctate, with a short, acute, triangular process at each extreme side; tergum 6 densely and finely rugose beneath dense pubescence, with a triangular apical spine on each side; pubescence of head, thorax and legs largely pale ochraceous, scutum with a few dark hairs in center of disc posteriorly, and scutellum with more abundant, erect, somewhat darker pubescence; basal abdominal tergum with rather copious, erect, pale hair basally and laterally, otherwise largely bare; tergum 2 with a pair of somewhat oblique, very narrow, white fasciae that are widely separated medially, basal area of disc covered with short, suberect, blackish pubescence, becoming white at extreme sides; terga 3 and 4 with submedian, white fasciae that are very thin or interrupted medially, 4 with largely pale, suberect hairs across base, 5 with more elongate, fuscous pubescence or hairs, with some elongate whitish hairs at extreme sides; tergum 6 largely fuscous pubescent; median length of pygidial plate about equal to basal width, margins carinate, nearly parallel to the abruptly constricted apical area, apex subtruncate or very broadly rounded; sternum 7 much as in comptoides (fig. 81) but apical rolled portion much smaller; sternum 8 broadly truncate or incurved at apex; genital armature as in cornptoides, but gonostyli with hairs at base more elongate.


DISTRIBUTION—Mexico to Wyoming and North Dakota, east to the New England states and Florida, March to September.
FLOWER RECORDS—Host plant records according to LaBerge (1956) include the following plant genera: Abutilon, Althaea, Amorpha, Asclepias, Baptisia, Befaria, Blephilia, Brazoria, Campanula, Cassia, Chrysopsis, Cirsium, Cleome, Convolvulus, Croton, Cucurbita, Cyrilla, Dalea, Dianthera, Euchium, Gossypium, Grindelia, Helenium, Helianthus, Heliotropum, Hyrtia, Ipomoea, Lactuca, Lythrum, Malva, Medicago, Melilotus, Mentha, Monarda, Nepeta, Oenothera, Opuntia, Passiflora, Petalostemum, Phaseolus, Platycodon, Prionopsis, Proboscidea, Pycnanthemum, Ratibida, Rudbeckia, Rhus, Salvia, Sidalcea, Solanum, Solidago, Teucrium, Thelesperma, Verbena and Vernonia.

Names
Scientific source:

Supported by

Hosts · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Apocynaceae  Asclepias tuberosa @ CUIC_ENT (1)
Aquifoliaceae  Ilex opaca @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Asteraceae  Cirsium vulgare @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Coreopsis sp @ BBSL (1)

Erigeron acris @ BBSL (1)

Erigeron compositus @ BBSL (1)

Grindelia @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Bignoniaceae  Chilopsis sp @ BBSL (3)
Boraginaceae  Echium vulgare @ AMNH_BEE (2)
Cactaceae  Opuntia @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Fabaceae  Dalea candida @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Melilotus officinalis @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Lamiaceae  Clinopodium ashei @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Ocimum campechianum @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Loasaceae  Mentzelia @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Passifloraceae  Passiflora incarnata @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Polemoniaceae  Eriastrum densifolium @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Pontederiaceae  Pontederia cordata @ AMNH_BEE (5)
_  Withheld @ BBSL__YOSE (13); BBSL (59)

cucurbit @ NLA (3)

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