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Melissodes denticulatus Smith, 1854
Melissodes denticulata Smith, 1854; Melissodes senilis Smith, 1854; Melissodes perplexa Cresson, 1878; Melissodes vernoniana Robertson, 1905; Melissodes (Eumelissodes) denticulata Smith, 1854

Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Melissodes
Subgenus: Eumelissodes

Melissodes denticulatus, F, Face, Carroll Co., MD
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Melissodes denticulatus, F, Face, Carroll Co., MD

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Melissodes denticulatus, F, Side, Carroll Co., MD
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Melissodes denticulatus, F, Side, Carroll Co., MD
Melissodes denticulatus, F, Back, Carroll Co., MD
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Melissodes denticulatus, F, Back, Carroll Co., MD

Melissodes denticulatus, f, s shaped scopal hairs
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes denticulatus, f, s shaped scopal hairs
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 mm., breadth of abdomen 4-5 mm.; black, the mandibles with a subapical, testaceous maculation; segments of flagellum beyond the 2nd somewhat more piceous beneath, but black above; apical tarsal segments becoming brownish-testaceous; spurs pale testaceous; tegulae piceous to black; wings faintly infuscated, veins brownish to piceous; lower portion of cheeks nearly as broad as eyes; clypeus only very slightly protuberant, its median length half the distance between eyes below; eyes very slightly convergent below; segment 2 of flagellum slightly more than half the length of segment 1, slightly longer than broad; punctures of clypeus quite coarse, deep and close, becoming fine and densely crowded along apical margin, those on labrum somewhat finer and closer medially, becoming quite coarse but still close laterally; supraclypeal area with quite coarse, well separated punctures medially, these becoming fine and close laterally; lateral areas of face with fine and rather close punctures below level of antennae, becoming minute and sparse above on each side, but quite coarse and distinct below ocelli; vertex with fine, close and distinct punctures behind ocelli; cheeks somewhat shining, punctures minute, becoming somewhat coarser and closer posteriorly; scutum somewhat shining between the moderately coarse and deep punctures, these quite sparse medially over posterior half, becoming somewhat finer and very close laterally and anteriorly, those on scutellum about equally coarse, well separated but hardly sparse; punctures of pleura coarse, rather deep and quite close, becoming much finer posteriorly above mid coxae; posterior face of propodeum rather dull, punctures rather shallow, irregularly scattered, becoming quite close at each side, dorsal area rather coarsely reticulate along margin, lateral faces rather dull, punctures rather shallow but generally distributed; basal abdominal tergum with shallow but rather coarse, quite sparse punctures across basal half, becoming somewhat finer and closer at each extreme side, apical half largely smooth and impunctate; basal half of tergum 2 smooth, with sparse, exceedingly minute and obscure punctures that are barely evident, apical half entirely impunctate; terga 3 and 4 more distinctly but very finely punctate across basal half, punctures rather well separated on 3, close on 4, minute and vague on 4 apically; pygidium elongate-triangular, apex rather narrowly rounded; pubescence of head largely whitish, but with a conspicuous band of long, fuscous hairs across vertex, and a few fuscous hairs intermixed with the white along margins of eye below; scutum and scutellum largely covered with rather short but erect and conspicuous fuscous pubescence, scutum narrowly pale pubescent across anterior margin, a few fuscous hairs intermixed among the light on tubercles and on pleura above; otherwise pleura and propodeum whitish pubescent; coxae, trochanters and femora largely whitish pubescent, the fore and mid tibiae with a somewhat darker patch on outer surface apically, and basitarsi largely fuscous pubescent; hind tibial scopa pale yellowish, the hairs abundantly plumose; basal abdominal tergum rather thinly short pubescent anteriorly, the pubescence entirely whitish; tergum 2 with a basal, whitish fascia that is largely obscured by the margin of tergum 1, and with a submedian fascia bordering the apical impressed area, which is rather widely interrupted medially, the intervening area with some very short, inconspicuous, suberect, black pubescence; tergum 3 with a submedian fascia bordering the impressed apical area, very slightly interrupted medially, basal area with thin and sparse, whitish tomentum and a few rather short, erect, blackish hairs, apical area beyond the fascia entirely bare; apical impressed area of tergum 4 largely whitish tomentose, somewhat interrupted along apical margin medially, basal area with somewhat more elongate, black pubescence; terga 5 and 6 entirely blackish to fuscous pubescent.

MALE�Length 9-11 mm., breadth of abdomen 3-4 mm.; black, clypeus yellowish-white, with upper third or fourth invaded by black; labrum black, often with a median yellowish- white maculation; mandibles with a small, subapical, testaceous spot; flagellum brownish beneath, piceous above; apical tarsal segments becoming brownish-testaceous, the spurs pale testaceous; tegulae piceous; wings faintly infuscated, veins brownish to piceous; cheeks much narrower than eyes; clypeus somewhat protuberant, its median length somewhat greater than half the distance between eyes below; eyes somewhat convergent below; shorter side of basal segment of flagellum about equal to pedicel, segment 2 seven or eight times as long; punctures of clypeus quite close but not very coarse, becoming fine and densely crowded along apical margin, those on labrum fine and close along mid-line, becoming quite coarse, deep and conspicuous at each side; supraclypeal area with fine, sparse punctures, lateral areas of face below antennae dull, with rather fine and close but distinct punctures, these becoming more minute and more widely separated on the shining surface between eyes and ocelli; punctures below ocelli rather deep and distinct, quite close, the surface dull; punctures fine and close on vertex behind ocelli, becoming rather sparse on each side; cheeks with quite deep, distinct and close punctures that are rather coarse posteriorly, very fine along margin of eye; scutum somewhat shining between deep, distinct, and rather coarse punctures, these quite sparse across posterior half, becoming much finer and closely crowded laterally and anteriorly, those on scutellum about equal in size, rather sparse on each side; pleura with rather uniformly coarse, close and deep punctures, becoming somewhat finer posteriorly above mid coxae; posterior face of propodeum rather dull, punctures not very coarse but quite shallow, separated to some degree on each side, dorsal area becoming rather coarsely rugose along upper margin, lateral faces dull and quite finely and closely punctate; the punctures obsolescent anteriorly and below; basal abdominal tergum with coarse and deep punctures across base, these well separated medially, becoming somewhat closer laterally, fine and more sparse toward the rather narrowly impunctate apical margin; terga 2 and 3 with very fine, well separated punctures across base, somewhat closer on 3 than on 2, apical impressed areas largely smooth and impunctate; terga 4 and 5 quite closely, deeply and rather finely punctate across base, apical impressed areas impunctate; tergum 5 with a rather obscure, obtuse angle at each extreme side, and 6 with a corresponding distinct apical spine; pubescence of head largely yellowish-white, but vertex with abundant, erect, conspicuous, fuscous pubescence across top of head; scutum and scutellum largely covered with conspicuous, erect, fuscous or blackish pubescence, scutum rather narrowly whitish pubescent across anterior margin, the pleura, propodeum and legs pale pubescent; basal abdominal tergum with rather copious, erect, whitish pubescence anteriorly and laterally, disc with some very short, suberect, dark pubescence evident toward each side; tergum 2 with a rather thin and indefinite, basal, white fascia that is largely covered by disc of tergum 1, and apical impressed area narrowly fringed by a whitish fascia which is slightly interrupted medially, basal portion of disc with short, suberect, thin, blackish pubescence; apical impressed areas of terga 3-5 narrowly fringed with pale, transverse fasciae, usually complete, basal areas of each with more elongate and erect, blackish hairs; tergum 6 entirely dark pubescent; median length of pygidial plate about equal to basal width, margins strongly carinate, very slightly converging toward the abruptly constricted apex which is rather broadly truncate; sternum 7 and genital armature resembling those of agilis (fig. 84), but sternum 8 narrower apically, the apex more deeply emarginate.

DISTRIBUTION � The New England states and Eastern Canada, to Florida, west to North Dakota and Texas, May to October.

FLOWER RECORDS�According to LaBerge (1961) this species is primarily oligolectic on species of Vernonia. Males and occasional females however will visit other flowers, and he lists species of Amphiachyris, Carduus, Convolvulus, Eupatorium. Ipomoea, Pycnanthemum, Silphium, Solidago, Symphoricarpos and Verbena.

Extracted from: Melissodes perplexa Cresson 1878 Proc. Ac. Sci. Phil. p. 206

Appears as Melissodes perplexa in this excerpt.

Female .—Black, shining; head and thorax clothed with cinereous that on anterior margin of occiput, mesothorax except exterior margin and scutellum, erect and black ; disk of mesothorax Almost nude and sparsely punctured; mandibles with a yellowish stripe near apex; tegulae piceous; wings hyaline. slightly dusky on apical margin, nervures black, third submarginal cell rounded and narrowed one-half towards marginal; legs with black or fuscous pubescence, posterior tib and outer side of basal joint or their tarsi pale ochraceous; base of first segment and sides of All segments beneath with cinereous pubescence, a cinereous band on middle of second and third segments, sub oblique on the side and more or less interrupted on second, and a band of same color at apex of fourth segment, sometimes a narrow band at extreme base of second segment; apical segments above black. Length .40 inch.

Male .—Pubescence longer and more dense than on Female ; clypeus except base white; antennae nearly as long the body, third joint scarcely twice longer than second, flagellum fulvous beneath ; third submarginal cell narrowed more than two-thirds to marginal; pubescence of legs entirely pale, tarsi slender and simple, tibia spurs pale; abdominal fasciae much narrower than in Female and more or less interrupted, two apical segments each with a stout tooth on extreme sides. Length .35 inch.

Scientific source:

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FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Asteraceae  Vernonia altissima @ UCRC_ENT (2)

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Updated: 2023-06-07 23:39:10 gmt
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