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Svastra obliqua (Say, 1837)
Macrocera obliqua Say, 1837; Melissodes caliginosa Cresson, 1878; Epimelissodes obliqua (Say, 1837); Melissodes obliqua (Say, 1837); Melissodes obliqua var expurgata Cockerell, 1925; Svastra (Epimelissodes) obliqua caliginosa (Cresson, 1878), valid subspecies; Svastra (Epimelissodes) obliqua expurgata (Cockerell, 1925), valid subspecies

Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Svastra
Subgenus: Epimelissodes

Svastra obliqua, male
© Copyright Celeste Ets-Hokin 2013 · 20
Svastra obliqua, male

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Svastra obliqua, Mid-Atlantic Phenology
© Copyright source/photographer · 9
Svastra obliqua, Mid-Atlantic Phenology
Svastra obliqua, long-horned bee
© Copyright John Ascher, 2006-2014 · 7
Svastra obliqua, long-horned bee

Svastra obliqua FEM mmm -. f
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Svastra obliqua FEM mmm -. f
Svastra obliqua MALE mm - f
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Svastra obliqua MALE mm - f

Svastra obliqua, f on Helanthus --
Michael Veit · 6
Svastra obliqua, f on Helanthus --
Svastra obliqua, f on Helenium --
Michael Veit · 6
Svastra obliqua, f on Helenium --

Svastra obliqua, f on Heliopsis --
Michael Veit · 6
Svastra obliqua, f on Heliopsis --
Svastra obliqua, f on Heliopsis --
Michael Veit · 6
Svastra obliqua, f on Heliopsis --

Svastra obliqua, f, back, md, kent county
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Svastra obliqua, f, back, md, kent county
Svastra obliqua, f, face, md, kent county
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Svastra obliqua, f, face, md, kent county

Svastra obliqua, f, side, md, kent county
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Svastra obliqua, f, side, md, kent county
Svastra obliqua, m, back, Dorchester Co
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Svastra obliqua, m, back, Dorchester Co

Svastra obliqua, m, face, Dorchester Co
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Svastra obliqua, m, face, Dorchester Co
Svastra obliqua, m, side, Dorchester Co
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Svastra obliqua, m, side, Dorchester Co
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 14.5-16 mm., breadth of abdomen 6-6.5 mm.; black, labrum and narrow margin of clypeus somewhat more brownish, mandibles with a large orange maculation apically, segment 2 of flagellum more ferruginous, the segments beyond paler brownish beneath, black above, tegulae more testaceous but largely covered with fuscous pubescence; wings quite uniformly lightly infuscated, veins brownish to piceous, basal abdominal tergum narrowly rimmed with yellowish; median length of clypeus slightly more than half the distance between eyes below; eyes sub-parallel; basal segment of flagellum somewhat less than twice the length of segment 2, shorter side of 2 about equal to the breadth; clypeus dull, punctures rather coarse and close but not crowded, labrum somewhat more shining, punctures somewhat deeper and more distinct, but about equal in diameter to those of clypeus; upper part of face more shining, punctures minute but rather close between eyes and ocelli; scutum and scutellum somewhat shining between close, deep and distinct punctures, those on scutellum somewhat finer; punctures of pleura somewhat more coarse and shallow; posterior face of propodeum dull, tessellate, punctures rather fine and sparse, dorsal face rather densely rugoso-punctate, lateral faces becoming somewhat smooth and shining below, punctures otherwise very fine and close; basal abdominal tergum quite coarsely and closely punctate across basal half of disc, punctate area reaching apical margin at extreme sides, the broad apical area smooth, with only microscopic punctures that are barely visible at high magnification; terga 2 and 3 with narrow basal areas that are finely and quite closely punctate, the broad apical area smooth, similar to that of tergum 1; basal areas of terga 5 and 6 rather finely rugoso-punctate, apical areas obscured by pubescence; pygidium triangular, with narrowly rounded apex; pubescence of head largely ochraceous, with only a few fuscous hairs on vertex laterally and above eyes; scutellum and posterior half of scutum with copious short, erect, blackish or fuscous pubescence, and pleura and lateral faces of propodeum entirely black pubescent, anterior half of scutum, pronotum including tubercles, a narrow fringe on the scutello-mesothoracic suture, a posterior fringe around margin of scutellum, and posterior face of propodeum, pale ochraceous pubescent; pubescence of legs largely blackish or piceous, more brownish fuscous on outer surface of mid tibiae, but scopa pale yellowish-ochraceous, the hairs strongly plumose apically; basal half of tergum 1 ochraceous pubescent, but anterior face with copious fuscous pubescence; tergum 2 with a basal, transverse, pale ochraceous fascia which is largely covered by disc of tergum 1; terga 2 and 3 with narrow, oblique, pale ochraceous fasciae that are rather widely interrupted medially, with some short fuscous or blackish pubescence between these and base; tergum 4 with a broad, dense, apical, transverse, ochraceous fascia, the basal area black pubescent; and tergum 5 black pubescent basally, more fuscous apically, forming a dense fimbria of long fuscous hairs.


MALE�Length 14.5-16 mm., breadth of abdomen 5.5 mm.; black, the clypeus, labrum and base of mandibles bright yellow, mandibles darker apically but with a subapical orange maculation; antennal flagellum more brownish beneath, blackish above; apical tarsal segments becoming reddish-testaceous, spurs pale testaceous or yellowish; tegulae testaceous; wings very uniformly lightly infuscated, veins brownish to piceous; apical rim of basal abdominal tergum very narrowly yellowish-hyaline; median length of clypeus about two-thirds breadth between eyes below; eyes very slightly convergent below; shorter side of basal segment of flagellum about equal to its apical width, segment 2 nearly three times this length; punctures of clypeus very fine, shallow and obscure, well separated, those on labrum much more deep, distinct and close; upper part of face becoming smooth and shining, punctures between eyes and ocelli very fine and well separated, somewhat closer and coarser toward margin of clypeus below; scutum and scutellum somewhat shining between deep and distinct punctures, those on scutum somewhat more coarse and sparse than those on scutellum which are close but not crowded; pleura with rather coarse, slightly separated but rather shallow punctures; posterior face of propodeum dull and tessellate, punctures rather coarse but shallow and rather sparse, dorsal face very densely tessellate, median punctures very shallow and widely separated, becoming finer and very close laterally, lateral faces becoming smooth and shining below and anteriorly, the punctures obsolescent; disc of basal abdominal tergum quite coarsely and deeply punctate, the more median punctures well separated, becoming closer laterally where they approach the apical margin, apical third smooth, somewhat shining and only microscopically punctate; basal areas of terga 2-4 rather closely and distinctly punctate, apical areas smooth and only microscopically punctate; terga 5 and 6 densely and finely punctate across base, 5 with small but rather distinct lateral angles, 6 with a pair of triangular, lateral, apical spines; scutellum and posterior half of scutum with copious, erect but rather short, fuscous pubescence, otherwise entire head, thorax, legs and basal abdominal tergum with copious, pale ochraceous pubescence; tergum 2 with a broad, basal, pale ochraceous fascia and a pair of narrower oblique fasciae which are only slightly separated; terga 3 and 4 with transverse, slightly oblique, pale ochraceous fasciae, basal area of each with some more erect, darker pubescence; tergum 5 with largely pale pubescence, with a transverse, submedian, rather narrow, ochraceous fascia; pubescence of tergum 6 largely pale, long and erect; median length of pygidial plate very slightly less than basal width, subtriangular, rather abruptly but slightly constricted toward apex which is broadly rounded or sub-truncate; sternum 7 as shown (fig. 80); sternum 8 and genital armature similar to those in aegis (fig. 79).


DISTRIBUTION � Mexico to Montana, east to Quebec, New Jersey, Tennessee and Florida, April to October. From Georgia to Maryland it is largely replaced by caliginosa.

FLOWER RECORDS � LaBerge (1956) lists one or more species of each of the following: Abutilon, Ambrosia, Asclepias, Aster, Bidens, Blephia (?), Boltonia, Carduus, Cassia, Cephalanthus, Chrysopsis, Cirsium, Cleome, Coreopsis, Echinacea,, Erigeron, Euphorbia, Gaillardia, Gossypium, Grindelia, Helenium, Helianthus, Heliopsis, Ipomoea, Kuhnistera, Lacinaria, Lactuca, Lobelia, Lythrum, Medicago, Melilotus, Monarda, Nepeta, Oenothera, Petalostemum, Prionopsis, Psoralea, Pycnanthemum, Ratibida, Rudbeckia, Schrankia, Silphium, Solidago, Teucrium, Trifolium, Verbena, Vernonia, Verbesina and Zinnia.


Svastra obliqua caliginous
FEMALE�This is a black pubescent form obliqua that averages slightly longer than the typical form in the East, ranging from 15 to 17 mm. in length. Except for some inconspicuous pale hairs in the scutello-mesothoracic suture, the pubescence of the entire head, thorax, legs and basal abdominal tergum is black, and there is a total lack of pale pubescent fasciae. Only the tibial scopa is pale ochraceous, copiously plumose as in typical obliqua, but the hairs on the hind basitarsi apically become largely blackish; the tegulae are black but the wing color is similar to obliqua, and the mandibles and spurs resemble that form in color.


MALE�The differences in this sex also are chiefly in color of pubescence, the pleura, lateral faces of propodeum and anterior face of basal abdominal tergum being largely black pubescent. The front legs are largely pale pubescent, but the mid and hind legs are covered with darker, more fuscous or piceous hairs, with some pale intermixture; the basal fascia of tergum 2 is more or less diluted with blackish and the oblique fasciae of terga 2-4 are reduced or absent.


Varying degrees of intergradation between these two forms are of common occurrence.
DISTRIBUTION � Georgia to New Jersey, June to November.
FLOWER RECORDS � Borrichia, Cirsium, Cucurbita, Helenium, Helianthus and Vernonia.

Identification
Two forms exist. One characterized by prominent bands of pale hair on the abdomen and the other with such hairs absent and all hairs dark or with just scattered patches of pale hair.

Extracted from: Melissodes obliqua Rayment 1935 A Cluster of Bees p. 620

Appears Melissodes obliqua in this excerpt.

Doctor Custer found eight entrances in an area of four-square meters, and the males hovered over these incessantly. This author suggests the bee follows the flowers of Grindelia squarosa and Helianthus petiolaris, and therefore does not always nest in the same locality. There is a main entrance to the branching galleries, in the extreme ends of which are the vertical cells. He also found two species of this genus inhabiting the one nest. The walls of the shaft were glazed, with a hard substance, for a short distance was an antechamber not unlike that of some halictine bees. A typical cell is cylindrical in shape, with moist walls, and measures 2*1 by 1*1 cm. and is two-thirds filled with “pollen almost liquid with honey.” Across the pollen lay the egg. On top of this there was a white cream-colored layer 2 mm. thick. According to Malyshev, in Russia, this latter area, which he describes as a greasy pellicle, is present on top of the pollen collected by Macrocera malvae Rossi. The wall of the cell of Melissodes obliqua is composed of a thin outer shell of dried mud, inside of which there is a semi-transparent membrane. Malyshev also reports that a similar membrane lines the walls of the cells of Melitta leporine Pan., Panurginus labiatus Ev. And Macrocera malvae. Such a membrane is also present in the cells of the bees of the genus Anthophora. The wall of the Melissodes cell was closed at the top by an arched roof of unpolished clay arranged in concentric rings. Malyshev also informs us that the lids of the cells of Melitta leporina, Macrocera malvae and Systropha planieds Gir. are “earthy and spiral”. Above the cell, the passageway is invariably filled with soil. In no case did he find any cell with more than one egg or embryo. This supports Fabre’s contention that the parasite’s egg hatches out first and destroys that of the host. He noticed that some of the larvae, presumably parasites, possessed thin, sharp mandibles a short time after having hatched. Most of the nests used by one bee yield about fifteen larvae. Some of them, full grown, completely filled the cell. They were distinctly tallow from the pollen which they had hastily eaten before mold could get to it. Of the many parasites which he had seen in the vicinity of the nest, the giant Triepeolus concavus Cress. seemed to the most the logical one for his bee.


Names
Scientific source:

Supported by

Hosts · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Asteraceae  Anthemis cotula @ BBSL (1)

Centaurea solstitialis @ BBSL (2)

Chrysothamnus sp @ BBSL (1)

Cirsium arvense @ BBSL (1)

Cirsium undulatum @ BBSL (1)

Echinacea purpurea @ I_CEH (1)

Grindelia sp @ BBSL (1)

Helianthus annuus @ BBSL (19); I_JSA (1)

Helianthus mollis @ BBSL (2)

Helianthus sp @ BBSL (10)

Helianthus @ AMNH_BEE (16)

Heterotheca sp @ BBSL (2)

Liatris pycnostachya @ BBSL (1)

Ratibida pinnata @ B_AW (2)

Tetradymia canescens @ BBSL (1)

Vanclevea stylosa @ BBSL (3)
Fabaceae  Medicago sativa @ BBSL (4)
Tamaricaceae  Tamarix gallica @ BBSL (1)
_  Fabaceae sp @ BBSL (1)

Withheld @ BBSL (21); BBSL__CAVE (4)

cucurbit @ NLA (2)

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Updated: 2022-05-19 02:41:45 gmt
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