Melissodes texana flaveriae, Cockerell, 1906 Trans. Am. Ent. Soc, 32, p. 109
Appears as Melissodes texana flaveriae in this excerpt.
Female. Length about 14 mm.; width of abdomen about 5.5 length of anterior wing 11.5 mm. Black, with mostly pale ochraceous hair, but bands on abdominal segments 2-4 white, those on 2 and 3 interrupted (widely on 2), and oblique; scutellum fringed with black hair; hair on inner side of basal joint of hind tarsi, and most of that on inner side of their tibiae, clear ferruginous; no black hair on vertex; hair of labrum pale yellowish; flagellum, except basal joint, red beneath; eyes silvery grey, tinted with sea green; tegulae deep rufous; wings pale smoky, especially the broad apical margin, the costal region strongly yellowish; second submarginal cell very large and broad, receiving the first recurrent nervure some distance from the end; hair of pleura entirely pallid, with an ochreous tint; hair of fifth abdominal segment pale purplish sooty in the middle, but broadly pale ochraceous at the sides.
Agrees with M. texana in the general structure and appearance, markings on second and third abdominal segments, light hair in the scutello mesothoracic suture, etc. It differs from texana in being less robust, with the hair of the ventral surface of the abdomen pale reddish (dark in texana), the hair at sides of fifth abdominal segment, which is much darker and redder in texana, the largely blackened femora (wholly deep red in texana), and the greenish eyes (light reddish grey in texana). It is also allied to M. machaerantherae, which has the same pattern on the abdomen, and the same colored hair on the hind legs, but is larger than flaveriae, with a red scape and partly red clypeus, broader and flatter scutellum, etc. These are, however, strictly of the same group.
M. martini, on the other hand differs entirely in the pattern of the abdomen and is not allied. In Robertson’s table, flaveriae runs to M. coloradensis, but it differs from that species in the general color of the pubescence, the shorter third antennal joint, the larger red tegulae, etc. Except for the lack of black hair on the vertex, flaveriae runs in my tables to Florilgeus condignus, from which it differs in the scopa of the hind tibiae being large and profusely plumose; the hind middle of mesothorax rather densely, uniformly covered with small but distinct punctures (with no sign of the bare space of condignus); and the much smaller and closer punctures of the upper part of the clypeus. Nevertheless, flaveriae and condignus are very much alike superficially, and seen by the naked eye at the distance of about a foot, especially from behind, they could readily be taken for the same species. The first abdominal segment of flaveriae, in certain lights, shows distinct metallic tints on its broad base apical margin – a further indication of resemblance to condignus.
Hab. – Roswell, New Mexico, at flowers of Flaveria augustifolia auett., end of August or first of September (Cockerell). At the same time and place, the Flaveria was also visited by the beautiful Nomia nortoni Cresson.
Melissodes texana Cresson (1872 & 1873) Trans, Am. Ent. Soc. 4, p. 292
Appears in this excerpt as Melissodes texana
Female. – Black; face and clypeus clothed with a short dense pale ochraceous pubescence, occiput and cheeks with a dense ochraceous pubescence; clypeus sometimes tinged with brown; labrum with golden yellow hair; mandibles with fulvous spot or line near apex, sometimes obsolete antennae short, black or brown above, more or less varied with brown testaceous beneath; thorax clothed with a dense ochraceous pubescence, longer and paler on metathorax and pleura, posterior disk of mesothorax and the scutellum more or less nude; tegulae varies from testaceous to piceous; wings sub hyaline, more or less dusky at apex, base sometimes tinged with yellowish; legs vary from piceous to fulvo-testaceous, clothed with ochraceous pubescence when free from pollen which makes the pubescence sometimes ferruginous, sometimes yellow; abdomen shining, very minutely punctured, basal half of first segment clothed with a long appressed ochraceous pubescence; basal margin of second segment, an oblique line on each side delisted laterally, a broad band on third and fourth segments, that on third interrupted in the middle and somewhat oblique laterally, clothed with short dense whitish pubescence; apical segments clothed with black or fuscous pubescence, more or less mixed with yellowish laterally; disk of apical segment rather broad, rounded at apex. Length .55-.75 inch.
Male. – Clypeus, labrum and spot at base of mandibles yellowish white; antennae not as long as head and thorax, brown of testaceous beneath; posterior disk of mesothorax and scutellum thinly clothed with a short black or fuscous pubescence; anterior part of pleura more or less stained with rufo-testaceous; abdomen more densely pubescent than female, a double band on second segment confluent laterally, the apical one slightly interrupted medially, and a sub-basal band on three following segments, also slightly interrupted medially, that on fifth segment narrow, the color of these bands varies from white to ochraceous. Length .60 inch.