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Melissodes apicatus Lovell and Cockerell, 1906
Melissodes apicata Lovell and Cockerell, 1906; Melissodes (Apomelissodes) apicata Lovell and Cockerell, 1906

Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Melissodes
Subgenus: Apomelissodes

Melissodes apicatus, f, back, Maine, Du Clos
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Melissodes apicatus, f, back, Maine, Du Clos

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    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 11.5-12 mm., breadth of abdomen 4.5-5 mm.; black, including clypeus and labrum entirely, and mandibles and legs large part, mandibles with an apical yellowish spot, apical tarsal segments somewhat more brownish; segments of flagellum beyond the 2nd brownish beneath, black above; tegulae piceous; wings subhyaline at base, becoming very lightly infuscated apically, veins brownish to piceous; apical rims of abdominal terga very narrowly yellowish-hyaline; cheeks considerably narrower than eyes; clypeus rather strongly protuberant, its median length approximately half the distance between eyes below; eyes slightly convergent below; basal segment of flagellum about twice as long as shorter side of segment 2 which is slightly broader than long; clypeus rather coarsely, striately punctate, labrum much more finely and densely so; lateral areas of face below antennae quite closely and coarsely punctate, median area above antennae closely and deeply punctate, lateral areas rather smooth and entirely impunctate; vertex with fine, very close punctures medially, becoming somewhat more separated laterally, cheeks with well separated punctures, rather coarse along hind margin, becoming very fine along eye margin; scutum and scutellum shining, punctures deep and distinct, coarse and well separated on scutum medially, becoming fine and close laterally and anteriorly, those on scutellum somewhat finer, uniformly close; mesopleura less shining, punctures quite coarse but rather shallow, subcontiguous; propodeum posteriorly with rather coarse scattered punctures, dorsal area impunctate along mid-line, becoming quite closely and shallowly punctate laterally, lateral faces somewhat more finely and closely punctate, becoming smooth but dull below and anteriorly; basal abdominal tergum somewhat shining, punctures fine and rather vague, irregularly scattered and sparse, apical third entirely impunctate; discs of terga 2 and 3 with fine but quite distinct, well separated punctures, these becoming somewhat closer at extreme sides, those on 4 and 5 much closer; median length of pygidium somewhat greater than basal width, elongate triangular, apex narrowly rounded; pubescence of head largely white, but with a fringe of black hairs across vertex, and a few black hairs around antennae; scutum and scutellum largely black pubescent, but scutum with a band of white pubescence anteriorly, this continuing very narrowly along lateral margins to the propodeum; tubercles with elongate black hairs, thorax otherwise whitish pubescent; legs largely white pubescent, but fore and mid tibiae with a fuscous patch on outer surface; scopa creamy white, hairs short plumose; basal abdominal tergum with rather copious, erect, whitish pubescence anteriorly and laterally; terga 2-4 with rather broad and very dense, completely apical, white fasciae, this more or less interrupted on 2; discs of terga 2-5 with black pubescence, this very short on 2 and 3 basally, becoming more elongate apically and overlying the fascia to some degree on 3 and 4; tergum 5 with a very dense fimbria of elongate black hairs apically; tergum 6 black pubescent on each side of pygidium.

    MALE�Length 9.5-12 mm., breadth of abdomen 3.5-5 mm.; black, including labrum and mandibles, clypeus yellow, with apical margin narrowly black and upper and lateral margins more or less invaded with black; antennal flagellum brownish-testaceous toward the base, becoming more piceous apically, and piceous above; apical tarsal segments somewhat more brownish, spurs pale testaceous; tegulae piceous to black; wings lightly infuscated, veins brownish to piceous; apical rims of abdominal terga very narrowly yellowish-hyaline; cheeks nearly equal to eyes in width, the clypeus slightly protuberant, its median length somewhat greater than half the distance between eyes below; eyes slightly convergent below; shorter side of basal segment of flagellum only slightly longer than pedicel, segment 2 about five times this length; punctures of clypeus close and rather coarse, somewhat more vague maculated area, finer and closer on labrum medially, becoming somewhat separated laterally; punctures of face quite coarse and close, becoming very fine and well separated above, between eyes and ocelli, where surface is shining, close and rather fine on vertex medially becoming somewhat coarser and more distinctly separated laterally, quite coarse, distinct and well separated on cheeks, becoming fine and close along margin of eye; scutum and scutellum shining, punctures deep, distinct and quite coarse, well separated medially on scutum, becoming somewhat finer and closer laterally and anteriorly, somewhat finer on scutellum, but evenly distributed and slightly separated; mesopleura rather dull, punctures quite coarse but shallow and close; posterior face of propodeum with rather coarse, shallow, scattered punctures, surface somewhat shining, dorsal area narrowly impunctate along mid-line, becoming shallowly rugose or reticulate laterally, lateral faces more finely and closely punctate, the punctures becoming obsolescent below and anteriorly; basal abdominal tergum largely covered with deep, distinct, rather fine, well separated punctures medially, these becoming closer laterally, fine and well separated toward apical rim; discs of terga 2-5 with very fine, rather deep and distinct, slightly separated punctures, these becoming somewhat more minute beneath the dense fasciae; tergum 5 not angulate laterally; tergum with a distinct, triangular, apical spine at each extreme side; pubescence of head largely pale ochraceous, but with a quite dense fringe black hairs across vertex; scutum and scutellum largely fuscous pubescent, anterior third of scutum with pale ochraceous pubescence which extends narrowly along lateral margins to the propodeum, thorax and legs otherwise pale ochraceous pubescent; basal abdominal tergum with copious, elongate, pale ochraceous pubescence anteriorly, but with apical third more or less covered with shorter, suberect, black pubescence; terga 2-5 with rather broad, dense, completely apical, white fasciae, completely hiding apical margins, discs with copious but rather short, erect, black pubescence, some black hairs overlying the white fasciae apically, pubescence of tergum 6 entirely black; basal half of pygidial plate somewhat rounded and elevated, with subcarinate margins and a low median ridge that projects apically, the apical part somewhat depressed, subtruncate, margin very slightly outcurved; sternum 7 as shown (fig. 83); sternum 8 similar to fimbriata but more broadly rounded apically; genital armature as in fimbriata.

    DISTRIBUTION � Maine to Florida, through the Atlantic coast states, March to July.

    FLOWER RECORDS � Females visit Pontederia, but males have been collected also on Hydrocotyle, Melilotis and Stachys.

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Melissodes apicatus, f, face, Maine, Du Clos
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes apicatus, f, face, Maine, Du Clos
Melissodes apicatus, f, side, Maine, Du Clos
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes apicatus, f, side, Maine, Du Clos

Melissodes apicatus, m, back, velum, Middlesex CO, MA
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Melissodes apicatus, m, back, velum, Middlesex CO, MA
Melissodes apicatus, m, face, middlesex Co, MA
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes apicatus, m, face, middlesex Co, MA

Melissodes apicatus, m, side, velum, Middlesex CO, MA
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes apicatus, m, side, velum, Middlesex CO, MA
Identification
Extracted from: LaBerge, W. E. 1963. New Species and Records of Little-known Species of Melissodes from North America (Hymenoptera: Anthophriadae). Bulletin of The University of Nebraska State Muesem, Vol. 4. Pp 227-242.

This poorly known species has been collected several times since the publication of its redescription by LaBerge (1956, p. 551). Melissodes apicata has been presumed to be an oligolege of plants of the genus Pontederia. The new material available to the author upholds this assumption, although a few females and several males have been collected from a number of other plants. Most female specimens and many of the males of these collections were taken from Pontedel'ia flowers. Other plants, such as Melilotus alba and Stachys floridana, probably serve as sources of nectar. This is indicated by the fact that most specimens collected on the flowers of these plants are males. New locality records are listed below: FLORIDA: Alachua County: I !i?, April 17, 1956, on Cirsillm sp., R. A. Morse; 5 ~ ~, April 17, 1956, on Melilotus alba, R. A. Morse; 5 ~ ~, April 17, 1956, on Oenothera speciosa, R. A. lVlorse; 22 ~ ~ , April 17, 1956, on Stachys /lm'idana, R. A. l\1orse; I ~, April 2, 1956, R. A. lVlorse; I !i?, l\IIay 3, 1956, on Cirsium sp., H. V. '\I\'eems, Jr.; I !i?, I ~, May 7, 1956, on Melilotus alba, R. A. Morse. Gainesville: 3 ~ ~, lVlay 10, 1919, P. '\1\'. Fattig. Georgetown, Putnam Co.: 1 !i?, April 30, 1955, H. E. and M. A. Evans. Highlands Hammock State Park: 3 !i?!i?, 14 ~ ~, l\-Iarch 30, 1956, on Pontederia sp., H. V. Weems, Jr. Marion County: 6 !i? !i?, l\-Iay 10, 1956, on Pontederia sp., R. A. lVlorse. Oneco, Manatee Co.: I ~, l\IIarch 26, 1954, W. W. Boyle. lVIASSACHUSETTS: ''''altham: I ~, July 1, 1957, on Melilotus alba, R. A. l\tlorse; 2 ~ ~,July 2, 1957, on Melilotus alba, R. A. Morse. Worcester: 1 ~, July 5-7, 1929, F. G. Wallace. NEW HAMPSHIRE: l\tIeredith: 1 ~, July 5, 1959, on Trifoliumhyb1'idum, R. A. Morse. NE',y YORK: Brookhaven, Long Island: 2 ~ ~, June 27, 1936, Chamberlain. The specimens are in the collections of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, the New York State Museum, Albany, the Florida State Plant Board, Gainesville, North Carolina State College, Raleigh, and the University of Nebraska State l\tIuseum, Lincoln.


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