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Melissodes tinctus LaBerge, 1961
Melissodes (Eumelissodes) tincta LaBerge, 1961

Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Melissodes
Subgenus: Eumelissodes

Melissodes tinctus, f, back, FL, Broward Co ---.
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Melissodes tinctus, f, back, FL, Broward Co ---.

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Melissodes tinctus, f, face, FL, Broward Co ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes tinctus, f, face, FL, Broward Co ---.
Melissodes tinctus, f, right side, Brevard Co., FL ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Melissodes tinctus, f, right side, Brevard Co., FL ---.
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 9.5-11 mm., breadth of abdomen 4-4.5 mm.; black, mandibles with a more or less conspicuous, apical, testaceous maculation; antennal flagellum piceous beneath; apical tarsal segments somewhat brownish, spurs pale yellowish; tegulae somewhat brownish; wings whitish-hyaline, veins testaceous to piceous; cheeks nearly as broad as eyes; clypeus slightly protuberant, its median length half the distance between eyes a below; eyes slightly convergent below; segment 2 of flagellum slightly more than half the length of basal segment; punctures of clypeus quite coarse, close and deep, those on labrum close but somewhat finer; supraclypeal area sparsely punctate medially, lateral areas of face below level of antennae finely and rather closely punctate, becoming minute and rather sparse above on shining surface between eyes and ocelli, quite coarse and sparse medially, below ocelli; vertex finely and densely punctate behind ocelli, punctures somewhat more distinct laterally; cheeks somewhat shining; punctures minute along eye margin, becoming deeper and more distinct posteriorly; scutum somewhat shining between coarse and deep punctures, these well separated but not sparse over posterior half of disc, becoming much closer and somewhat finer laterally and anteriorly, those on scutellum finer and quite close; pleura with rather coarse but shallow, well separated punctures, becoming much finer and closer posteriorly above mid coxae; posterior face of propodeum dull and tessellate, punctures rather shallow, somewhat sparse, dorsal area becoming rather coarsely reticulate along upper margin, lateral faces dull, quite closely and finely punctate; basal abdominal tergum rather dull across basal half, with shallow, somewhat separated punctures, these becoming much closer laterally where they nearly reach the apical margin, the broad median apical area impunctate; basal areas of terga 2-4 quite deeply and distinctly but rather finely and closely punctate, those on 4 almost crowded, apical impressed areas very minutely but rather closely punctate nearly to the rim; median length of pygidium about equal to basal width, subtriangular, apex rather narrowly rounded; vertex with conspicuous, erect, fuscous pubescence across top of head, with some intermixed fuscous hairs between ocelli and antennae, and along margin of eyes above, face with a few intermixed dark hairs, otherwise whitish pubescent, quite copious and elongate; scutum and scutellum with conspicuous, erect, fuscous or blackish pubescence, the scutum narrowly white pubescent across anterior margin, the pleura and propodeum entirely whitish or pale ochraceous pubescent; the more basal segments of the legs pale pubescent, the fore and mid tibiae more fuscous pubescent along outer face, basitarsi with generally dark pubescence, hind tibial scopa whitish, hairs quite densely plumose; basal abdominal tergum with abundant, copious, long and erect, pale pubescence basally and with some short pale pubescence along lateral margins, disc with some short, suberect, fuscous pubescence at each side; discs of terga 2-5 largely covered with very short, erect or suberect, fuscous pubescence, 2 with a rather narrow, basal, white fascia, and submedian, slightly interrupted fascia that fringes the apical impressed area; terga 3 and 4 with somewhat broader, entire, whitish fasciae, that on 3 submedian, more nearly apical on 4, the latter separated from the rim medially by a fuscous tomentose area; terga 5 and 6 entirely fuscous or blackish pubescent except for a few pale hairs at extreme sides.

MALE—Length 9.5-10 mm., breadth of abdomen 3.5-4 mm.; black, including labrum and base of mandibles, the latter with an apical yellowish maculation, and apical half of clypeus bright yellow, basal half or more black; antennal flagellum testaceous beneath, piceous above; apical tarsal segments becoming brownish-testaceous, spurs pale yellowish; tegulae brownish-testaceous; wings whitish-hyaline, veins yellowish to brownish; apical margins of abdominal terga becoming more or less yellowish-hyaline and transparent toward rims; cheeks slightly narrower than eyes; clypeus only slightly protuberant, its median length about half the distance between eyes below; eyes rather strongly convergent below; basal segment of flagellum little if any longer than pedicel, segment 2 nearly five times as long as segment 1 and pedicel combined; punctures of clypeus fine and close laterally, becoming somewhat coarser and more distinct medially, quite obscure on the yellow maculated area, those on labrum fine, distinct and close; supraclypeal area very sparsely punctate medially, lateral areas of face below level of antennae finely and quite closely punctate, becoming very minute and obscure above on the shining surface between eyes and ocelli, much more coarse and distinct and rather close medially, below ocelli; vertex finely and densely punctate behind ocelli; cheeks with minute punctures along margin of eyes, these becoming quite coarse and deep posteriorly, scutum somewhat shining between coarse and deep punctures, these rather sparse in a limited posterior area, becoming very much finer and closer laterally and somewhat closer and rather coarse anteriorly, those on scutellum not quite so coarse, well separated but hardly sparse; punctures of pleura quite coarse, close and deep, becoming much finer and closer posteriorly above mid coxae; posterior face of propodeum rather dull and tessellate, punctures rather shallow but quite close, becoming somewhat sparser laterally, dorsal area quite coarsely rugose or reticulate along upper margin, lateral faces dull and densely tessellate, punctures shallow and irregular, becoming obsolescent below; basal abdominal tergum quite coarsely and deeply punctate, the punctures distinctly but not widely separated medially, becoming much finer and somewhat more sparse toward the rim, quite close at extreme sides where they nearly reach the apical margin; terga 2-4 quite deeply but rather finely punctate across basal area, the punctures rather sparse on 2, somewhat closer but not crowded on 3 and 4, apical impressed area invaded only slightly by very minute and rather sparse punctures; tergum 5 quite finely and densely rugoso-punctate, obscurely angulate at each extreme side, tergum 6 with a corresponding triangular, apical spine on each side; head with copious, long and erect, whitish to pale ochraceous pubescence, sometimes with a few dark hairs behind ocelli and across vertex; scutum and scutellum with rather abundant, erect, dark pubescence, anterior margin of scutum covered with pale ochraceous pubescence, pleura and propodeum entirely pale ochraceous pubescent; pubescence of legs entirely whitish; basal abdominal tergum with copious, long and erect pubescence basally and more narrowly along lateral margins, disc with some shorter, suberect, fuscous pubescence; terga 2-5 with short, suberect, blackish or fuscous pubescence on basal area, sometimes with a small amount of suberect black pubescence on the apical areas; tergum 2 with a rather narrow basal yellowish-white fascia, and a submedian fascia that fringes the apical impressed area basally, this slightly interrupted medially; apical impressed areas of terga 3 and 4 also narrowly fasciate at base, 5 with a more nearly apical fascia; median length of pygidial plate about equal to basal width, margins carinate and slightly convergent to the rather abruptly constricted apex which is truncate; sterna 7 and 8 and genital armature, resembling those in agilis (fig. 84).

DISTRIBUTION—Minnesota and Michigan to North Carolina, Texas and Florida, August to December.

FLOWER RECORDS—LaBerge (1961) states that tincta is an oligolege of composites, chiefly species of Chrysopsis and Aster. He records it also on Helianthus and Verbesina.


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