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Epeolus vernalis Mitchell, 1962
Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Epeolus

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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 mm.; black, legs, tegulae, tubercles and basal segments of antennae testaceous, spurs yellow, mandibles more ferruginous, and axillae ferruginous in part; segments of the flagellum beyond 1st considerably longer than broad, brownish beneath, piceous above; space between margin of vertex and lateral ocelli subequal to their diameter; cheeks about half width of eyes, much narrower below; posterior margin cannate; median length of labrum somewhat greater than half the breadth, with a pair of very low, acute, apical tubercles; mandibles entirely simple and rather slender, without an inner angle or tooth; posterior margin of scutellum nearly straight, not at all impressed medially, axillae strongly divergent from its side, the acute tips reaching about to mid transverse line of scutellum (similar to ilicis, fig. 110); wings with the usual three submarginal cells, hyaline basally, becoming lightly infuscated apically, veins testareous to piceous; face with some dense, silvery, appressed tomentum around bases of antennae, clypeus nearly bare, and cheeks only thinly tomentose; venter of thorax rather thinly, silvery tomentose, pleura nearly bare below, becoming rather densely tomentose above; margin of pronotum densely yellowish tomentose, this continuing as a short fringe around tubercles; scutum with a pair of narrow, yellowish, longitudinal lines anteriorly on each side of midline, and margin adjacent to tegulae very narrowly fringed, a quite dense, yellowish fringe in the scutello-mesothoracic suture; metanotum quite densely whitish tomentose, adjacent lower margin of scutellum thinly tomentose medially but becoming very densely so from each extreme side to base of wings; anterior face of basal abdominal tergum densely white tomentose on each side, separated medially, nearly meeting the apical, transverse, more yellowish fascia which is rather widely interrupted medially, the resulting black patch transverse, narrowed nearly to a point at each extreme side, covered with very, short, inconspicuous, black tomentum; terga 2-4 with yellowish, apical fasciae, these becoming somewhat more whitish at each extreme side, and slightly interrupted medially, slightly removed from rims on 2 and 3, tergum 5 with a small patch of white tomentum on each side of pseudopygidium tegulae uniformly very finely, closely and deeply punctate throughout; face below ocelli rather coarsely, closely and deeply punctate, but punctures distinctly separated, becoming somewhat finer and densely crowded on vertex posteriorly and on cheeks, those below antennae and on clypeus very fine and densely crowded; scutum, scutellum and axillae very densely rugose, finely so at sides of scutum, more coarsely so medially and on scutellum; pleura below rather coarsely rugoso-punctate, with a few narrow, indefinite, intervening spaces evident, upper part beneath the tomentum very densely and rather finely rugose; discs of abdominal terga beneath dense black tomentum very finely, uniformly and rather closely punctate, the punctures becoming more minute and crowded on the more apical terga; pseudopygidium about half as long medially as the apical width.

E. vernalis is known only from the female and appears to be the female to E. weemsi, which is known only from the male. This potential is noted by Mitchell in his original descriptions of both species (1962). He described them as different species due to some doubt caused by slight differences in the sculpturing. The relationship still remains unproven, but is considered likely (verbal communication with John Ascher, 2006).

Scientific source:

It is likely that E. weemsi is synonymous with E. vernalis. This possible synonymy was noted by Mitchel in his description of these bees in Bees of the Eastern United States, vol II, 1962.

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Updated: 2018-11-13 23:19:10 gmt
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