Smithsonian Institution, Entomology Department · 9
Melissodes menuachus, female, face
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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 12-13.5 mm., breadth of abdomen 5-6 mm.; black, the mandibles somewhat reddened apically, segments of flagellum beyond the 2nd brownish-testaceous beneath, piceous above; apical tarsal segments becoming brownish-testaceous, spurs pale yellowish; tegulae dull yellowish-hyaline; wings hyaline, somewhat whitish, veins testaceous to brownish; cheeks slightly narrower than eyes; clypeus only very slightly protuberant, its median length half the distance between eyes below; eyes slightly convergent below; segment
of flagellum somewhat longer than broad and slightly longer than half the length of basal segment; punctures of clypeus fine and close, those on labrum rather sparse on each side; supraclypeal area impunctate medially, lateral areas of face below level of antennae very finely and closely punctate, surface becoming shining and nearly impunctate, median area below ocelli quite closely and rather coarsely punctate; vertex behind ocelli with minute, densely crowded punctures, quite smooth, with minute obscure punctures laterally; cheeks shining, punctures minute and obscure, becoming somewhat more distinct toward posterior margin; scutum shining between quite coarse and deep punctures, these rather sparse medially over posterior half of disc, becoming quite close laterally and anteriorly, those on scutellum somewhat finer, deep, distinct and quite close; punctures of pleura fine and quite close, becoming minute and indistinct posteriorly; posterior face of propodeum dull and densely tessellate, punctures very shallow and obscure, dorsal area densely tessellate medially, becoming rather coarsely reticulate at each extreme side, lateral faces tessellate, punctures rather close but shallow and indefinite, becoming somewhat more distinct but fine anteriorly and below; basal abdominal tergum well punctured across basal two-thirds of disc, punctures shallow but rather coarse and close, nearly reaching apical margin at each extreme side, the broad, median, apical area entirely impunctate and somewhat reddened; basal areas of terga 2-4 minutely and closely punctate, apical impressed areas more or less invaded by exceedingly minute, rather indistinct, close punctures, the apical rims impunctate; pygidium narrowly rounded at apex; pubescence of head and thorax copious but rather short, entirely pale ochraceous, largely pale ochraceous on legs, but front and mid tibiae with a small area of darker pubescence on outer surface apically, and basitarsi with some dark pubescence beneath, hind tibial scopa pale ochraceous, hairs densely plumose; basal abdominal tergum rather copiously pale ochraceous pubescent anteriorly and laterally, discs of remaining terga with very short and thin, entirely pale pubescence, 2 with a basal whitish fascia and a narrow, sub- median fascia bordering the apical impressed area, 3 with a submedian, rather broad fascia which is only slightly removed from apical margin, and 4 with a broad dense fascia completely covering the apical impressed area; tergum 5 largely covered with rather short but dense suberect fuscous pubescence, this forming a rather dense apical fimbria, but with some pale hairs on each side.
MALE�Length 11-12 mm., breadth of abdomen 4-5 mm.; black, the clypeus entirely bright yellow, labrum with a median basal yellow maculation, and mandibles yellow maculated at base; antennal flagellum testaceous beneath, more brownish above; apical tarsal segments brownish-testaceous, spurs pale yellowish; tegulae brownish-testaceous; wings hyaline, somewhat whitish, veins testaceous to brownish; apical margins of abdominal terga broadly yellowish-hyaline; cheeks subequal to eyes in width; clypeus but very slightly protuberant, its median length slightly greater than distance between eyes below; eyes slightly convergent below; basal segment of flagellum nearly twice the length of pedicel, segment 2 fully five times as long; punctures of clypeus rather coarse and close, but obscure on the yellow surface, those of labrum somewhat finer, slightly separated; supraclypeal area impunctate medially, lateral areas of face below antennae finely, closely and quite distinctly punctate, surface becoming smooth and shining above, punctures very minute, well separated but distinct, those below ocelli somewhat more coarse and close; vertex with rather fine, crowded punctures behind ocelli and along posterior margin on each side; cheeks smooth and somewhat shining, punctures minute, becoming somewhat more distinct toward posterior margin; scutum shining between coarse, deep punctures, these well separated medially over posterior half of disc, becoming somewhat finer and very close laterally and anteriorly, those on scutellum somewhat finer, slightly separated and evenly distributed; pleura with rather close, coarse and shallow punctures; posterior face of propodeum dull and tessellate, punctures shallow and rather indistinct, somewhat separated, dorsal area dull, densely rugose or reticulate along upper margin, lateral faces somewhat more distinctly and closely punctate; basal abdominal tergum quite deeply punctate over most of disc, punctures somewhat coarser and well separated medially toward the base, becoming finer apically, finer and closer laterally; discs of terga 2-5 quite deeply punctate across base, the punctures somewhat coarser on the more basal terga, slightly but not widely separated on all, surface rather dull, the broad apical impressed areas entirely impunctate and to some degree transparent; tergum 5 with a distinct, acute angle on each extreme side, and tergum 6 with a corresponding, more elongate, acute spine; pubescence of head and thorax and basal abdominal tergum long and copious, entirely whitish to very pale ochraceous, the legs entirely whitish pubescent; discs of abdominal terga with rather elongate but thin, suberect, pale pubescence, 2 with a thin and indefinite, basal, whitish fascia, apical impressed areas of 2-5 rather narrowly fringed with pale ochraceous fasciae, that on 5 nearly apical, and that on 6 completely so; median length of pygidial plate about equal to the basal width, margins rather sharply cannate, slightly converging toward apex, this rather abruptly incurved on each side, apical margin very slightly curved, subtruncate; sterna 7 and 8 and genital armature much as in agilis (fig. 84).
DISTRIBUTION�British Columbia to Mexico, east to Wisconsin and Illinois. July to October.
FLOWER RECORDS�According to LaBerge (1961) Grindelia and Solidago are preferred by menuachus as a pollen source, but it has been collected also on species of Argemone, Aster, Cassia, Chrysopsis, Chrysothamnus, Cleome, Eustoma, Gaillardia, Gutierrezia, Helianthus, Hymenothrix, Medicago, Melilotus, Petalostemum, Polygonum, Rudbeckia, Sidalcea, Verbena, Viguiera and Xanthocephalum.
Extracted from: Charles, R. (1895). Notes on bees, with Descriptions of New Species. Transactions of the American Entomological Society Vol. 22, No. 2. pp. 115-128.
Appears as Melissodes pallida in this excerpt.
♀- Black, clothed with pale pubescence, which
inclines to ochraceous on the thorax above ; face rather closely pubescent, clypeus
closely and strongly punctured, mandibles rufous in middle, with a yellow streak
at apex, antennas black, third joint about equaling next two together, flagellum
dull testaceous beneath. Thorax above densely pubescent, except on disc of
mesonotum and scutellum, more sparsely punctured on former. Wings subhyaline,
second submarginal cell a little smaller than first, third narrowing one-half above,
nervures dull testaceous, tegulas piceous. Legs black, apical joints of tarsi ferruginous ; pubescence pale ochraceous, becoming fuscous on apex of tibiae and tarsi,
scopa pale, oh the basal joint of hind tarsi within it is black. Abdomen opaque,
basal segment with pale pubescence at base and laterally, base of second and
broad apical margins of segments 2-4 with appressed white pubescence, segments
5 and 6 with black pubescence, the abdomen beneath has the pubescence fuscous,
paler towards apex. Length 14 mm.
Updated: 2021-05-11 14:04:36 gmt