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Melissodes mitchelli LaBerge, 1956
Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Melissodes
Subgenus: Apomelissodes


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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 10-11 mm., breadth of abdomen 4 mm.; black, including labrum, mandibles and tegulae, the antennal flagellum rather brownish-piceous beneath, black above; apical tarsal segments becoming somewhat brownish-testaceous, spurs pale testaceous; wings subhyaline basally, becoming lightly infuscated apically, veins testaceous to piceous; apical margins of abdominal terga narrowly testaceous; cheeks slightly narrower than eyes; clypeus slightly protuberant, its median length somewhat greater than half the distance between eyes below; eyes very slightly convergent below; basal segment of flagellum slightly less than twice the length of segment 2 which is about as broad as long; clypeus and supraclypeal area shining and sparsely punctate medially, punctures becoming rather coarse, close and shallow on clypeus laterally, line and close apically; punctures of labrum rather uniformly fine and close; lateral areas of face rather closely and shallowly punctate below level of antennae, becoming more sparsely punctate above and in median area where surface is shining; vertex closely and rather finely punctate back of ocelli, punctures becoming more distinctly separated but still quite close laterally and on cheeks; scutum shining, punctures quite coarse, well separated over posterior half, becoming fine and quite densely crowded laterally and anteriorly, finer and rather irregular but well separated over most of scutellum; mesopleura dull, punctures rather coarse and shallow but somewhat variable; posterior face of propodeum rather dull, punctures rather coarse and numerous but somewhat separated, dorsal area largely impunctate medially, but becoming rather finely punctate at each side, lateral faces quite fully punctate, coarsely so posteriorly, becoming very finely and densely so anteriorly and below; disc of basal abdominal tergum rather dull, median punctures very minute and obscure, quite sparse, becoming somewhat more distinct and close toward each side; discs of terga 2 and 3 rather dull, median punctures very minute and well separated, becoming somewhat closer but still obscure laterally; tergum 4 with much more distinct, deep and fine punctures which become quite close at each extreme side; median length of pygidium somewhat greater than basal width, margins sub-parallel, apex broadly rounded; pubescence of head largely white, but with a few dark hairs back of ocelli; scutum and scutellum largely covered with erect and rather copious, fuscous pubescence, scutum very narrowly whitish pubescent anteriorly, this extending very narrowly along lateral margins to propodeum, thorax otherwise whitish pubescent; legs whitish pubescent in large part, but front and mid tibiae with a fuscous pubescent patch on outer surface, scopa entirely whitish, of rather elongate robust hairs which are very sparsely plumose; basal abdominal tergum with rather elongate, whitish pubescence anteriorly and laterally, otherwise bare; terga 2 and 3 with basal, white tomentose fasciae that are usually covered by the preceding tergal plate, and with dense whitish fasciae occupying the depressed apical margins nearly to the rim, that on 2 widely interrupted medially, slightly so on 3, discs with very short and obscure, dark pubescence, more evident on extreme sides; disc of terguni 4 quite densely, short, fuscous pubescent, with a few elongate apical dark hairs that overly the rather broad, dense, apical, white fascia; terguni 5 entirely covered with fuscous pubescence, obscuring the surface, that on 6 dense and more brownish on each side of pygidium.

MALE—Length 11 mm., breadth of abdomen 4 mm.; black, clypeus bright yellow, lab- rum and mandibles black in large part, antennal flagellum brownish-testaceous beneath, piceous above, apical tarsal segments becoming dull testaceous, spurs testaceous, and tegulae black; wings subhyaline basally, becoming very faintly clouded apically, veins testaceous to brownish; abdominal terga rather narrowly brownish-hyaline apically; cheeks considerably narrower than eyes; clypeus somewhat protuberant, its median length considerably greater than half the distance between eyes below; eyes slightly convergent below; shorter side of basal segment of flagellum very slightly longer than pedicel, segment 2 five or six times this length; punctures of clypeus rather coarse and close, but shallow and inconspicuous, labrum more finely and closely punctate; punctures rather close and deep on lateral areas of face below antennae, becoming somewhat finer and more distinctly separated above, fine and irregular on vertex back of ocelli, and rather fine and close on cheeks anteriorly, becoming somewhat more sparse posteriorly and below; scutum and scutellum shining, punctures of scutum coarse, deep and well separated medially, becoming somewhat finer and very close laterally and anteriorly, much finer and rather sparse on scutellum medially, becoming somewhat closer and coarser laterally; pleura rather dull between quite coarse, close and shallow punctures; propodeum posteriorly somewhat shining, with scattered, rather coarse, shallow punctures, dorsal area impunctate in mid-line, becoming rather irregularly and shallowly punctate laterally, lateral faces quite coarsely and rather deeply punctate, punctures becoming considerably finer and closer below; basal abdominal tergum with rather deep and distinct but rather fine and well separated punctures medially, these becoming somewhat closer and finer at each extreme side, the apical impressed margin entirely impunctate; discs of terga 2 and 3 with fine, well separated, quite regularly distributed punctures, becoming slightly closer at extreme sides; discs of terga 4 and 5 much more finely, deeply, distinctly and closely punctate; punctures of tergum 6 obscured by dense pubescence; tergum 5 not distinctly angulate or spinose laterally, but tergum 6 with a small, carina-like, triangular, lateral process at each side; pubescence of head largely creamy-white, with a very few dark hairs around ocelli; scutum and scutellum with rather abundant, erect, fuscous pubescence, the scutum very narrowly pale pubescent anteriorly and along lateral margin to the propodeum, thorax and legs otherwise whitish pubescent; basal abdominal tergum with copious, elongate and erect, whitish pubescence anteriorly and laterally, largely bare otherwise; terga 2 and 3 with basal, whitish fasciae that are usually covered by the preceding plates; terga 2-5 with apical, dense, whitish fasciae, largely occupying the rather narrow, depressed, apical margins, discs with dark pubescence that is short on tergum 2, becoming progressively more elongate on the more apical segments, with elongate black hairs more or less overlying the white fasciae; pubescence of terga 6 and 7 entirely fuscous or black; pygidial plate strongly elevated toward base, with subparallel, lateral, carinate margins, abruptly constricted before apex which is rather broadly subtruncate; sternum 7 as shown (fig. 83); sternum 8 similar to fiinbriatci but more broadly rounded apically; genital armature as in fimbriata.

DISTRIBUTION — North Carolina to Florida, April and May.

FLOWER RECORD—No collections have been on other than Opuntia.


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Updated: 2019-03-24 01:20:14 gmt
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