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Melissodes nigracauda LaBerge, 1961
Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Melissodes
Subgenus: Callimelissodes

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Extracted from: LaBerge, W. E., 1961. A Revision of the Bees of the Genus Melissodes in North and Central America. Part III (Hymenoptera, Apidae). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, Vol. 43. 1-107.

This strikingly colored bee is very distinct and not closely re- lated to any other of the species of this subgenus. It resembles M. ablusa and M. minuscula in the sculpturing of the galeae in both sexes and in the color of the male clypeus. The females are readily recognized by the vestiture of the head, abdomen and sides of the thorax being dark brown to black, whereas the dorsum of the thorax is ochraceous to slightly rufescent. In addition, the scopal hairs are dark brown to black. The males can be separated from males of other species of the subgenus by the long first flagellar segment and by the flattened condition of the flagellar segments as described below. In addition the terminalia are highly distinctive.

Female. Measurements and ratios: N, 20; length, 11-13 mm.; width, 3.5-4.5 mm.; wing length, M = 3.86 0.102 mm.; hooks in hamulus, M — 14.20 0.275; flagellar segment 1/segment 2, M = 2.24 0.241.

Male. Measurements and ratios: N, 20; length, 11-14 mm.:: width, 2.5-4.0 mm.; wing length, M = 3.74 0.208 mm.; hooks in hamulus, M = 12.90 0.204; flagellar segment 2/segment 1, M = 3.27 0.042.

Structure and color: Integument black except as follows: _ fla- gellar segments 4 (and often 3) to 10, distitarsi, apical half of mandibles and often hind and middle tibial spurs (black in holo- type) rufescent; wing membranes infumate, brown. Clypeus with round punctures somewhat elongate apicomedially, separated mostly by one-half to one puncture width, surface moderately shiny, with sparse cross-striations; supraclypeal area shiny, unsha- greened or sparsely so; galeae dulled by dense, coarse, regular tes- sellation; maxillary palpal segments in ratio of about 9:9:8:1, last segment often slightly longer; eyes more than three times as long as broad; vertex with flattened area apicomesad of compound eyes with small round punctures separated by less than one puncture width, surface shiny; ultimate flagellar segment longer than broad. Mesoscutum with small round deep punctures separated mostly by one puncture width at level of parapsidal lines, more crowded an- teriorly and lateral to parapsidal lines, sparser in posteromedial area, surface shiny, unshagreened; scutellum punctate as on meso- scutum at level of parapsidal lines, unshagreened; metanotum with round punctures smaller than on scutellum and separated by less than one puncture width, shiny and sparsely shagreened at least dorsally; propodeum much as in M. lupina, but surface moderately shiny, shagreening delicate; mesepisternum with lateral surface with regular round punctures slightly smaller than those of postero- median area of mesoscutum and separated by one-half to one puncture width, surface unshagreened. Metasomal tergum 1 with basal half with punctures sparse, extremely shallow and indistinct, apical half impunctate, surface dulled by fine, dense, reticulotrans- verse shagreening, moderately shiny; tergum 2 with basal zone punctures minute, separated by three to four puncture widths, in- terband zone with indistinct, sparse punctures, apical area im- punctate, surface shiny (basal zone) to moderately shiny, sha- greened as in tergum 1; terga 3 and 4 as in tergum 2; pygidial plate broadly V-shaped, apex quite pointed.

Hair: Head dark brown to black, occasionally a few pale hairs on vertex and near antennal fossae; thorax with mesoscutum, scu- tellum, tegulae and dorsal surface of propodeum ochraceous to slightly rufescent, remainder dark brown to black; abdomen dark brown to black except as follows: metasomal tergum 1 often with long pale hairs mixed with dark in basal half (a few pale in holo- type); terga 2 and 3 with apical areas with minute, simple, closely appressed, sparse, dark brown hairs; tergum 3 with distal pubescent band often ochraceous in lateral thirds or less (dark brown in holo- type); legs with hairs dark brown to black except scopal hairs of tibiae brown to dark brown medially (in holotype basitarsi and tibiae with brown hairs).

Scientific source:

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FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Asteraceae  Stephanomeria sp @ BBSL (2)
_  Withheld @ BBSL (1)

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Updated: 2023-09-29 16:29:24 gmt
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