Stelis coarctatus

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee
Stelis coarctatus

 

 

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis coarctatus on Ox-eye Daisy. May 29, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis coarctatus on Ox-eye Daisy. May 29, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification: Male and female almost identical.
Head: Black with some long white hairs around antenna bases; no other marks. Mandibles with 3 teeth. Cheeks slightly wider than eye width with a few short, white hairs. Male has lower face (clypeus) slightly protruding and more hair on face.
Antenna: Black, 10 segments on female, 11 on male. Pedicel longer than segment 1. 1st segment constricted at base.
Thorax: Entirely black, rough. Thorax sides have some long white hair. Tubercle (pronotal lobe) slightly raised, entirely dark. Male has more hair on thorax top and sides.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) large, dark and projecting outward. Wings smoky tinted, darker toward tips. Veins black.
Legs: Black, with dusting of very short white hair. Shins (tibiae) pointed at tips.

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis coarctatus on Ox-eye Daisy. May 30, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis coarctatus on Ox-eye Daisy. May 30, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.

Abdomen: Black, slightly shiny. Segment 1 to 3 have a very small white to cream spot at each side edge. Segment 4 has a very tiny dash each side of center, sometimes absent on male. Abdomen tip rounded, grooved and slanted down on female. Underside of male hairy.

Size: Female 6 to 7 mm. Male 5 mm.

Habitat: Meadows and forest edges.

Food: Adults feed on flower nectar.

Flight Time: May to early July

Life Cycle: One generation per year, over-winters in a prepupal stage in the nest of its host, the Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis carinata.

Comments: Not on any lists for Ontario. Wheatley per photos. Found in New Brunswick in 2001. Canadian National Collections (CNC) lists 8 (7 S. coarctatus & 1 S. vernalis), no locations. Also in southern Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Ceratina mikmaqi

Small Carpenter Bee
Ceratina mikmaqi

 

NOTE: There is controversy on the status of C. mikmaqi.
GenBank https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/  part of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (USA) is the top authority for the genetic sequence database for DNA, and it has either removed (as designation “record removed”) or transferred C. mikmaqi specimens to Ceratina dupla.
BOLD (Barcode of Life Database) in Guelph, Ontario has also removed some C. mikmaqi specimens, including the type specimens designated by Sheffield from Nova Scotia (Holotype #02-NS-1619 and Allotype #sheffT-58) are now listed as Ceratina dupla. The 127  remaining specimens listed as C. mikmaqi on BOLD have all been given a ‘record removed’ status at GenBank.

I suspect GenBank, and apparently now BOLD, too, are using the 2% rule. If DNA variation is less than 2% between species, it is not considered a valid species.

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina mikmaqi female, with uneven (sinuate) mark on face. On spring bulb (exotic) April 06, 2005, Wheatley, Ontario.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina mikmaqi female, with uneven (sinuate) mark on face. On spring bulb (exotic) April 06, 2005, Wheatley, Ontario.

Clarification requests to GenBank went unanswered.

BOLD declined to answer my queries, and instead asked me to contact Sheffield. As a taxpayer of Ontario and Canada who have dumped millions into this DNA project, I would expect BOLD to answer my questions, or at least admit they have sided with the U.S. on the 2% rule.

Quite frankly, I think Sheffield is right. Ceratina mikmaqi is a valid species, and Ceratina dupla is different and very rare.

Identification:
Female:
Head: Metallic, a more greenish colour, with black areas. MAIN ID: Lower face (clypeus) has an oblong, ivory mark in the center, the side edges of the mark are slightly wavy, not straight. Lower part of clypeus, mouth area and cheeks are black.
Antenna: Dark brown to black on top side, underside slightly reddish-brown.
Thorax: Metallic, bluish green with black areas. Segment 1 (scutum) more black, lower half without punctures. Tubercle (pronotal lobe) on thorax side, half black, half white; thorax side long whitish hair.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegula) reddish brown. Wings slightly tinted, veins and stigma dark brown.
Legs: Thighs (femora) bluish-green with some white hair. Shins (tibiae) dark brown with small white spot at base (knee); sometimes absent on front shin. Feet dark brown to black.
Abdomen: Metallic, a more greenish color; segment 1 more black. MAIN ID: Tip pointed with obvious tuft of short white hair.

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina mikmaqi male with tuft of short hairs at tip of abdomen, and white hair on abdomen underside. Series 3 of 5 photos. On Aster. October 28, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina mikmaqi male with tuft of short hairs at tip of abdomen, and white hair on abdomen underside. Series 3 of 5 photos. On Aster. October 28, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.

Male:
Head: Metallic, a more greenish colour. Lower part of face (clypeus) has a large ivory, 3-cornered mark (hat-like). Large ivory spot below on mouth (labrum).
Antenna: Dark brown.
Thorax: Metallic, bluish green with black areas. Segment 1 (scutum) more black, lower half without punctures. Tubercle (pronotal lobe) on thorax side, half black, half white; thorax side long whitish hair.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegula) reddish brown. Wings slightly tinted, veins and stigma dark brown.
Legs: Thighs (femora) bluish-green with some white hair; hind thigh not triangular, but has a slight raised edge to middle of shin on underside. Shins (tibiae) dark blue with small white spot at base (knee); sometimes absent on front shin. Feet dark brown to black.
Abdomen: Metallic, a more greenish colour. Last segment rough (punctured). MAIN ID: Tip rounded with obvious tuft of short, thick yellowish hair. MAIN ID: Underside has hair across each segment and lower half of abdomen has hair at side edges.

Similar Species: Males of C. dupla do not have a short, white tuft at abdomen tip or white hair on the underside of the abdomen. Females of C. dupla have sides of white mark on face even, not wavy, also C. dupla female has no white tuft at tip of abdomen.

Size: Female 6 to 8 mm., Male 5 to 7 mm.

Habitat: Meadows, field edges.

Food: Flower nectar and pollen.

Flight Time: Mid-April to mid-June, again late July to August.

Life Cycle: Nesting in hollow twigs like teasel, dewberry, raspberry, sumac, privet hedge and rose. Males emerge before females. Nesting complete by the end of June. Over-winter as adults. Females stay with young and guard nest. One generation per year.

Comments: “Ceratina mikmaqi is named in honour of the Mi’kmaq, the First Nations People of Nova Scotia where this species was first discovered with DNA barcoding (Sheffield et al. 2009). Ceratina mikmaqi ranges in Canada from Nova Scotia to southern Ontario, and south into the northeastern United States, as far west as Nebraska, and south to Kentucky. Its range overlaps that of C. dupla and C. calcarata.” per Rehan & Sheffield, 2011.

Synonyms: Rehan & Sheffield 2011
None

References:
Zootaxa, 2011, #2873 pp. 35 to 50 by Rehan, S.M. and C.S. Sheffield, pp. 35 to 43.
Canadian Entomologist, 2011, Vol. 143: Nesting biology and DNA barcode analysis of Ceratina dupla and C. mikmaqi by Vickruck, Rehan, Sheffield & Richards, pp. 256 to 261.
Animal Behavior 2012, Vol. 83: Niche partitioning based on nest site selection in the small carpenter bees Ceratina mikmaqi and C. calcarata by Vickruck & Richards pp. 1083.

Types:
Type material. The male holotype of C. mikmaqi was collected in Middleton, N44.9665, W65.5755, Annapolis Co., Nova Scotia, Canada on 20.vi.2002, col. Cory Sheffield [DNA barcode sample ID “02-NS-1619”]; the specimen is in good condition, but missing the right antenna and middle leg. The female allotype was collected in Forest Home, N44.9117, W64.5288, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, Canada on 2.vii.2003, cols. C. Sheffield, S. Rigby, and K. Jansen [DNA barcode sample ID “sheffT-58”]; the specimen is in excellent condition, but missing the right hind leg. Both holotype and allotype are in the Packer Collection at York University (PCYU).

 

 

Ceratina dupla

Small Carpenter Bee
Ceratina dupla

NOTE: There is controversy on the status of C. mikmaqi. GenBank https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/ part of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (USA) is the top authority for the genetic sequence database for DNA, and it has either removed (as designation “record removed”) or transferred C. mikmaqi specimens to Ceratina dupla.

BOLD (Barcode of Life Database) in Guelph, Ontario has also removed some C. mikmaqi specimens, including the type specimens designated by Sheffield

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina dupla male on Basket of Gold (exotic). May 07, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina dupla male on Basket of Gold (exotic). May 07, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.

from Nova Scotia (Holotype #02-NS-1619 and Allotype #sheffT-58) are now listed as Ceratina dupla. The 127  remaining specimens listed as C. mikmaqi on BOLD (ver. 4) have all been given a ‘record removed’ status at GenBank. For more information, see my notes under Ceratina mikmaqi.

Identification:
Female:
Head: Dark blue-green to blackish. Lower face (clypeus) with an oblong, ivory mark in the center. Mandibles dark with 3 teeth.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Dark blue-green to blackish. Segment 1 (scutum) rough (deep punctures) more so than C. calcarata. Tubercle on thorax side is half black, half white, the white almost crescent-shaped. White hair covering thorax sides.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) black. Wings very lightly smoky gray-brown, with a blackish tinge (infuscated). Wings are darker than C. calcerata.
Legs: Greenish-black, slightly darker than body. Feet (tarsi) blackish. On front leg, the joint between thigh and shin (knee) is white. Sparsely covered with white hair, more so on hind shin (tibiae).
Abdomen: Dark blue-green to blackish. Segments 1 and 2 somewhat shiny, 3 to end dull and faintly covered with very short white hair. Hair is visible on lower abdomen, but not visible on C. calcerata. Tip pointed, no tuft of hair.

Male:
Head: Dark blue-green to blackish. Lower part of face (clypeus) ivory, a 3-cornered mark (hat-like).
Antenna: Brown.
Thorax: Dark blue-green to blackish. Tubercle on thorax side is half black, half white, the white almost crescent-shaped. White hair covering thorax sides.
Wings: Wing knob (tegulae) dark brown. Wings very lightly smoky gray-brown, with a blackish tinge (infuscated). Wings are darker than C. calcerata.
Legs: Greenish-black. Hind thighs (femora) have small projection on underside near the base, barely noticeable. On front leg, the joint between thigh and shin (knee) is white. Feet (tarsi) brownish. Legs covered with very short white hair, more so on hind shin (tibiae).
Abdomen: Dark blue-green to blackish, dull and covered with very short white hair. Tip well rounded.

Similar Species:  Ceratina calcarata male has hind thigh (femora) triangular, point on underside; female usually has no white mark on face. Ceratina strenua male and female have white streak on front leg.

Size: Female 6 to 8 mm. Male 6 to 7 mm.

Habitat: Meadows, forest edges.

Food: Flower nectar

Flight Time: April to October

Life Cycle: Females build provisioned cells in unlined twigs and stems like raspberry and teasel. Nest may have another female in attendance.  After eggs are laid, female stands guard at nest entrance. May have second brood in late July, early August.
Parasites: Wasps Baryscapus americana, Eupelmus vesicularis, Axima zabriskiei; Ichneumon Wasp Hoplocryptus zoesmairi; Mite Pyemotes species.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee, Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park; widespread across Ontario.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Bombus tenarius

Tri-colored Bumblebee
Bombus ternarius

 

Identification:

Tri-colored Bumblebee Bombus ternarius
Tri-colored Bumblebee Bombus ternarius on Coltsfoot. Jun 09, 2011 Nova Scotia.

Queen and Worker: Head is mostly black with yellowish hairs around antenna. Thorax is yellow with a wide black stripe between the wing bases, central area of black V-shaped. Abdomen 1 yellow; 2 & 3 red-orange; 4 yellow; 5 and 6 black. Legs are black with black fringe.

Male: Long dense hair. Hair mostly yellow with a few black hairs intermixed. Thorax dense yellow except for a narrow black band between wing bases.  Abdominal segment 1 yellow; 2 and 3 bright reddish (unless faded); 4 yellow; 5 to 7 entirely black, side edges with yellow. Legs black. Fringes for most part long and black, except hind tibia (shin) which has pale hairs.

Size: Queen 17 to 19 mm. Worker 8 to 13 mm. Male 9.5 to 13 mm.

Flight Time: June to August.

Habitat: Woodlands and forest edges.

Food: A generalist feeder of pollen and nectar, using a wide variety of flowers.

Life Cycle: Hibernating queens appear in spring and build nests in old mouse nests or other cavities. Queen forms a wax honey pot and fills it with honey and pollen, then lays a batch of eggs on the pollen, covering them with a waxed sheet. Eggs are kept warm by the queen. Hatched larvae are continually fed by the female until they pupate. The first brood become workers and take over nest maintenance and honey & pollen foraging. The old Queen, workers and males die at the end of the season. Only mated females live to hibernate in sheltered locations until the next spring.

Comments: From Simcoe to northern Ontario. Laverty and Harder (1988, map 15) recorded it for Essex County, but it has not been seen since 1950 at Ojibway Prairies.

Synonyms: Bombus oniatus, Bombus ternarius var. expallidus

References:
Boston Journal Natural History, 1837. Vol. 1, pg. 414 male by Say.
Catalogue Hymenoptera in British Museum, 1854. Vol. 2, pg. 398 male & female by Smith as Bombus oniatus.
Occasional Papers of Michigan Univ. Museum of Zoology, 1916. Vol. 23, pg. 9. Female by Cockerell as Bombus ternarius var. expallidus.
North Carolina Experimental Station Technical Bulletin, 1962. Vol. 152, pg. 536 to 537 by Mitchell.

Ceratina calcarata

Spurred Ceratina
Ceratina calcarata

 

 

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina calcarata female. Apr 17, 2007, Wheatley, Ontario.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina calcarata female. Apr 17, 2007, Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Female:
Head: Dark green-blue, rough (deep punctures). Lower face (clypeus) flat, slightly darker. Sometimes with a very tiny white to cream-colored oblong mark, but usually no mark. No squarish mark on mouth area (labrum). Mandibles dark with 3 teeth.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Dark green-blue. Segment 1 (scutum) rough (deep punctures) on base half, lower central area smooth and shiny. Thorax sides have black tubercle (pronotal lobe) with white fringe on one side. A few whitish hairs on lower half of thorax sides. Note: some females have half white tubercle; know to interbreed with Ceratina dupla.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) dark brown. Wings lightly tinted, veins brown.
Legs: Darker green-blue (slightly darker than body). Feet (tarsi) dark brownish-yellow. Front leg bare, mid and hind legs have long whitish hair. Hair on all feet slightly yellowish.
Abdomen: Dark green-blue. Tip sharply pointed. Some scant yellowish hair on last segment, and underside of last segment.

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina calcarata male on Ox-eye Daisy. June 16, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina calcarata male on Ox-eye Daisy. June 16, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.

Male:
Head: Dark green-blue, rough (deep punctures). Lower face (clypeus) flat, slightly darker. White to cream-colored 3-cornered mark (hat-like). Another squarish, tiny white spot on mouth (labrum). Mandibles black with 2 teeth.
Antenna: Black. Segments 2 and 3 longer than wide.
Thorax: Dark green-blue, shiny and flat. Thorax sides have black tubercle (pronotal lobe) with crescent of white hair. Lower sides have sparse white hairs. Note: some males have half white tubercle; known to interbreed with Ceratina dupla.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) dark greenish-black. Wings tinted brownish, veins dark brown to black.
Legs: Darker green-blue than body, to almost black. Hind thighs (femora) have underside enlarged, V-shaped, no tuft of hair like C. strenua. Shins (tibiae) has sparse white hair, more so on hind shin. Feet more brownish, toes brownish-yellow.
Abdomen: Dark green-blue, rough (dense punctures). Segment 6 lower edge indented at center, with tuft of short pale hair. The 7th segment, usually hidden has a flat, wide tip (2 to 3 times as long as wide and fringed with whitish hairs. Underside covered with white hair.

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina calcarata 2 males and female upper right. Apr 02, 2010, Wheatley, Ontario.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina calcarata 2 males and female upper right. Apr 02, 2010, Wheatley, Ontario.

Similar Species:
Males are large and have V-shaped point on underside of hind thigh (femur). C. dupla males have no V-shaped point and males of C. strenua have obvious white stripe on front leg.

Size: Female 7 to 8 mm. Male 5 to 7 mm.; largest of the Ceratina

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Pollen and nectar from a wide variety of flowers.

Flight Time: Mid-March to mid-June; again late August to October.

Life Cycle:
Nest made by chewing out fresh twigs of elder, sumac, sassafras, blackberry, raspberry, roses, horseweed and teasel. Adults over-winter in the nests they were born in. Males start flying 2 weeks before the females, mating in April. The winter quarters (hibernacula) is not reused for new nests. Females stay with their young (6 or 7 only)  until they become adults, thus living almost a year. Females sometimes produce one small female (usually the first to hatch) to help with the nest. Adults of new brood are seen by the first week of August. One generation per year.
Parasites: Chalcid Wasp Axima zabriskiei, Baryscapus americanus, Coelopencyrtus hylaeoleter, Eurytoma species.
Ichneumon Wasp Hoplocryptus zoesmairi, Eupelmus vesicularis, Grotea anguina.
Parasitic Wasp Gasteruption tarsatorius, Jewel Wasps Omalus iridescens and Parasierola species.
Blister Beetle Meloe angusticollis
Mite: Pyemotes ventricosus

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Also Peel, Nipissing, Niagara and in Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Melissodes illatus

Digger Bee
Melissodes illatus

 

Digger or Long-horned Bee Melissodes illatus female on Purple Coneflower. July 12, 2006. Wheatley, Ontario.
Digger or Long-horned Bee Melissodes illatus female on Purple Coneflower. July 12, 2006. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification: Very small northern black species.
Female:
Head: Entirely shiny black with some gray-white to yellowish hair around antenna bases. Thin line of gray hair along inner eye margin. Top of head with black hair. Back of head with row of yellowish hair curving down to cheeks. Cheeks narrower than eye width. Mandibles black with yellowish-red tips.

Digger or Long-horned Bee Melissodes illatus female on Cup Plant. August 01, 2010. Wheatley, Ontario.
Digger or Long-horned Bee Melissodes illatus female on Cup Plant. August 01, 2010. Wheatley, Ontario.

Antenna: Entirely black, underside of segments slightly lighter. Segment 1 thin, twice as long as segment 2.
Thorax: Covered with short black hair. Segment 1 (scutum) has line of gray-white hairs along base and shoulders (humeri), extending down thorax sides. Segment 2 (scutellum) may have a few gray hairs along lower margin. Rest of sides mixed black and gray. Underside black.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) black. Wings clear to slightly tinted. Veins dark brown to black.
Legs: Black with dark hair, and a few short white hairs intermixed; sometimes more gray-white on shins (tibiae). Pollen basket (scopa) has yellowish hairs, quite dense and feathery. Feet slightly reddish-brown.
Abdomen: Black, somewhat shiny. White stripes mostly thin.
Segment 1 almost bare; short white hair along base and very short hairs along side edges.
Segment 2 has a sparse fringe along base; stripe at mid segment, slants up to base, interrupted at center.
Segment 3 stripe at mid segment, interrupted or not.
Segment 4 stripe much wider across lower edge of segment; a triangle of brown hairs at center.
Segments 5 and 6 dark, no stripes with some long pale tufts at the sides of 5 only.
Underside dark brown, paler at sides.

Digger or Long-horned Bee Melissodes illatus male on Mallow. June 23, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.
Digger or Long-horned Bee Melissodes illatus male on Mallow. June 23, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.

Male:
Head: Hair long, pale yellowish-white on face. Top of head (vertex)  mixed brown and yellowish hair, with a line of yellowish hair at back of head. Cheeks much narrower than eye width, lower half covered with short, white hair. Area above mouth (clypeus) entirely bright yellow. Mandibles black, sometimes with small yellowish mark at tip.
Antenna: Base (scape) black. Segments long, black on top side, reddish-brown on underside. Segment 1 no longer than pedicel. Segment 2 very long.
Thorax: Mostly covered with long erect, thick black hair. A few gray hairs along outside edges. Underside has yellowish hairs, visible on lower thorax sides.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) are dark. Wings slightly tinted, veins dark brown.
Legs: Hair dark, with row of pale fringes on each side. Feet reddish, underside with orangish hair.
Abdomen: Black with narrow white stripes at middle of each segment except last 2 segments which also have a small spine at each side edge. Tip with tuft of yellowish hair. Underside dark brown covered with pale yellowish hairs.

Similar Species: Melissodes druriellus female has brownish-yellow hair on back of head and thorax, not gray white as in female M. illatus. Male M. druriellus abdominal stripes are much wider than male M. illatus.  

Size: Female 8 to 11 mm. Male 8 to 9.5 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Feeds on nectar of flowers, Goldenrod, Aster, Mallow, Cup Plant, Purple Coneflower.

Flight Time: July to August.

Life Cycle: Unknown. Nests in the ground.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies and Point Pelee.
Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Extends north to Algonquin Park. Uncommon.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Epistrophe emarginata

Flower Fly
Epistrophe emarginata

Flower Fly Epistrophe emarginata male at Rondeau Provinical Park, May 07, 2006.
Flower Fly Epistrophe emarginata male at Rondeau Provinical Park, May 07, 2006.

Identification:
Head: Female face yellow with a black mark above antenna bases, may be divided. Male face yellow with brown-brassy spot above antenna base; eyes touching before simple eyes (ocelli) at top of head. Neither male or female have a dark stripe down middle below antenna bases. Hind eye margin curved, white hair.
Antenna: Blackish-brown on top half of entire length, lower half more reddish. Last joint large, oval, darker. Bristle (arista) long, dark.
Thorax: Metallic bronze-black, sometimes greenish. Segment 1 (scutum) sides have a yellow stripe on female; stripe is faint and more brownish-yellow on male. Both have long yellowish hairs along side edges. Segment 2 (scutellum or half-moon) yellowish-brown, outside edges sometimes dark, also with long yellowish hair. Thorax sides have a  large but obscure yellowish patch below wing base.
Wings: Wings lightly tinted with brownish-yellow, darker along outside edge (costa).
Legs: Yellow to reddish-yellow. Hind legs darker, sometimes with a darker ring on thigh (femur).
Abdomen: Black with large yellow marks and stripes which cover at least half the segment.
Segment 1: Very short, usually hidden by wings. Squarish yellow spot at base on each outside corner, touching side margin. Absent on female.
Segment 2: Stripe interrupted and somewhat pointed at centers. Not touching, but very close to side edges. White hair also along side edges. Stripe barely interrupted at center on female.
Segment 3: Stripe wider at side edges, but not touching side edges. Narrows to center and may be interrupted at center or continuous. Narrow yellow stripe along lower margin of segment, sometimes not visible on male.  On the female, the band is continuous.
Segment 4: Stripe wider at side edges, but not touching side edges. Narrows to center and always interrupted at center on male. On female stripe barely or not interrupted at center. Narrow yellow stripe along lower margin of segment.
Segment 5: Entirely yellow on female. On male reddish-yellow triangles at base of segment on each side; tip reddish-yellow.

Similar Species: Females are very similar to Eupeodes americanus males. Thorax has yellow borders and lower margin stripe on abdominal segment 3 is more obvious on Epistrophe emarginata females.

Size: 9 to 12 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges, farm fields, meadows.

Food: Adults feed on flower nectar. Larvae feed on aphids.

Flight Time: May to September

Life Cycle: Unknown, except that larvae eat aphids.

Comments: Essex County – Lake Erie Islands, Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park per photos. Also in Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Danaus plexippus

Monarch
Danaus plexippus

Update: Sep 23, 2017

Three more Monarchs hatched out this morning. The one on Steeplebush Spiraea tomentosa was the easiest to photograph.

Monarch Danaus plexippus chrysalis early morning on Steeplebush. Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Monarch Danaus plexippus chrysalis early morning on Steeplebush. Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

 

 

Late-stage chrysalis

 

 

 

 

Monarch Danaus plexippus on Steeplebush. They hatch like an exploding popcorn kernel. Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Monarch Danaus plexippus on Steeplebush. They hatch like an exploding popcorn kernel. Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

 

 

 

Hatched

 

 

 

Monarch Danaus plexippus wings fully expanded on Steeplebush. Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Monarch Danaus plexippus wings fully expanded on Steeplebush. Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monarch Danaus plexippus just hatched on Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba). Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Monarch Danaus plexippus just hatched on Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba). Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

 

 

Another one on Meadowsweet Spiraea alba.

 

Monarch Danaus plexippus just hatching on underside of Morning Glory leaf. Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Monarch Danaus plexippus just hatching on underside of Morning Glory leaf. Sept 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

 

 

 

 

One more under a huge Morning Glory leaf.

 

 

 

 

Monarch Danaus plexippus one of 15 that passed by, landing on Butterfly Bush, Sep 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Monarch Danaus plexippus one of 15 that passed by, landing on Butterfly Bush, Sep 23, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

 

 

Grand total of Monarchs this morning – 18. None of them stayed more than 2 minutes, this one grabbed at a flower on the Butterfly Bush before heading south-west.

 

 

Still a few flowers left, Elm-leaf Goldenrod, Tall Boneset which the Monarchs seem to favor, New England Aster and some deep purple Salvia. All the fall flowers bloomed early this year.

One last Monarch chrysalis on Aster, still green.

Ceratina strenua

Small Carpenter Bee
Ceratina strenua

 

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina strenua female on Aster. October 28, 2009. Wheatley, Ontario. White streak on front shin.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina strenua female on Aster. October 28, 2009. Wheatley, Ontario. White streak on front shin.

Identification:
Female:
Head: Blue-green with an oblong whitish mark on lower face (clypeus). Mandibles slightly reddish with 3 teeth at tip.
Antenna: Dark, tips brownish. Segments 2 to 5 wider than long.
Thorax: More greenish than face. Thorax sides only have short, pale hairs. Tubercle whitish-yellow entirely.
Wings: Wing knobs pale yellowish-brown. Wings slightly tinted, veins brownish-yellow.

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina strenua female on Ironweed. August 25, 2006, Wheatley, Ontario. Close-up front shin (tibia) with white streak.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina strenua female on Ironweed. August 25, 2006, Wheatley, Ontario. Close-up front shin (tibia) with white streak.

Legs: Black with metallic reflections. Short, pale hairs on legs. Front thigh (femur) has white dot at tip (knee). Main ID: Front shin (tibia) also has whitish spot or streak at base of segment. Feet reddish-brown.
Abdomen: Bluish-green with pale, short thin hairs on last two segments. Tip sharply pointed, no hair.

Male: Brassy-green
Head: Olive-green with a white 3 pointed mark on lower face (clypeus), hat-like; the points are all the same size. Another squarish, smaller white spot on mouth (labrum). Mandibles dark.
Antenna: Black, orange-brown on underside. Segments 2 and 3 wider than long.
Thorax: Thorax has 3 to 5 longitudinal lines on segment 1 (scutum). Thorax sides only slightly hairy. Tubercle entirely gray-white.
Wings: Wing knobs pale brownish-yellow. Wings clear, iridescent. Veins brownish-yellow.

Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina strenua male on non-native bulb flower. March 25, 2012. Wheatley, Ontario. Thicker white streak on front shin.
Small Carpenter Bee Ceratina strenua male on non-native bulb flower. March 25, 2012. Wheatley, Ontario. Thicker white streak on front shin.

Legs: Black with metallic reflections. Front thigh (femur) has white dot at tip (knee). Main ID: Front shin (tibia) has white streak to almost entire length of shin. Feet brownish-red.
Abdomen: Brassy-green. Tip projecting, more rounded than female (sub-truncate), with a brush of light hairs.

Similar Species: C. strenua is the smallest, and darkest of the 4 species in Ontario. C. calcarata, C. mikmaqi and C. dupla do not have a white stripe on front shin (tibia).

Size: Female 5 mm – very small. Male 4.5 mm

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Nectar and pollen from a variety of flowers.

Flight Time: March to October

Life Cycle: Females bore tunnels twigs like raspberry, roses and thistle for nesting. Females stay in nest until new batch of adults emerge from their eggs.

Comments: Rare. Essex County – photos. Also Niagara. Southern Ontario is the northern extent of their range.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Megachile sculpturalis

Giant Resin Bee
Megachile sculpturalis

 

Identification: Introduced from eastern Asia (China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea) and arrived in North Carolina in 1994. In Windsor in 2002 and in Point Pelee in 2003.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea, Aug 04, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea, Aug 04, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Head: Black, covered with black hair. Mandibles large and wide, 4 teeth on female; smaller with 3 teeth on male. Cheeks twice as wide as eye width on female. Male cheeks as wide as eye, underside has long yellow hair; area above mouth (clypeus) and around antenna bases has yellow hair. Male clypeus is flat, female’s protruding.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Black, entirely covered with bright, brownish-yellow hair. May have small to large black area or bald at centre of thorax. Hair changes to white on old individuals.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea. Jul 22, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea. Jul 22, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish-brown. Wings yellowish on base half, rest very dark. Veins reddish-brown. Holds wings out to sides when feeding.
Legs: Black, covered with black and brownish-yellow hair. Underside and middle foot fringe brownish-yellow. Male has less yellowish-brown hair. Front foot more reddish-brown than female. Hind leg longer and thinner than female.
Abdomen: Both male and female are parallel-sided, not cone-shaped. Abdomen black with a slight bluish tint; segments slightly constricted. Segment 1 covered with bright-brownish-yellow hair. Segment 2 and sometimes segment 3 have white pile at side edges on lower margin.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea. Jul 07, 2005, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea. Jul 07, 2005, Wheatley, Ontario.

Female tip pointed; underside covered with hair (pollen basket) brownish-yellow at base, rest black.
Male tip appears squarish (curved downward); underside entirely black. Male abdomen is shorter, wings reach tip.

Size: 18 to 24 mm long. Females are larger than males.

Habitat: Anywhere with tree spa (maple and pine).

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis male on Milkweed. Jul 31, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis male on Milkweed. Jul 31, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.

Food: Nectar and pollen from a variety of flowers, prefers non-native plants.

Flight Time: Mid-June to early September

Life Cycle: Nest in aggregations in pre-existing cavities, prefers Carpenter Bee holes in shaded areas. They do not chew wood. Females line their nest with tree resin (maple or pine) along with bits of rotten wood and sometimes mud, but not leaves. 8 to 10 cells per nest. Larvae pupate in late spring. These bees are not aggressive, and even when disturbed at the nesting site, the female will usually fly away. Males do not sting at all, females are not defensive, even at nest site. Classed as stingless bees.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee, Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Along north shore of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and now in Quebec.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Megachile pugnata

 

Sunflower Leafcutter
Megachile pugnata

Identification:
Female:

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata female on Cup Plant. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata female on Cup Plant. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Head: Black, large and square with a wide area of thick, yellowish-white hair surrounding antenna bases, reaching to inner eye margin. Top of head dull, with a few black hairs. Area above mouth (clypeus) extremely short. Cheeks twice as wide as eye width with a projection extending downward at lower back edge of cheek and yellowish hair on underside. Mandibles black, extremely large, wide and long; curved and fringed on underside with golden hair.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Black, bald to sparse black hairs on top of thorax. Yellowish-white hair along base or collar area. Yellowish-white mixed with mostly black hair on lower edge of thorax, with a fringe of yellowish hairs along sides from wing bases to end. Thorax sides covered with dense, yellowish-white hair.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) black. Wing tinted a dark brownish-yellow, tips darker. Veins brown-black.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata female flying to Cup Plant. Aug 11, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata female flying to Cup Plant. Aug 11, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Legs: Brownish-back with whitish-yellow fringe on underside of all thighs (femora). Shins (tibiae) have very short bright orange-yellowish to golden hairs and short fringe on underside. Feet reddish-brown with darker orange-yellowish to golden hairs, more orange-yellow on underside.
Abdomen: Black, parallel-sided, not cone-shaped as most Megachile.
Segment 1: Dense whitish-yellow hair at side edges; darker, shorter hair at center. No hair band.
Segments 2 to 5: Entire (uninterrupted) dense yellowish-white hair bands on the lower edge. Segments 2 to 4 have an indented line or groove near base; no white pile.
Segment 6: No marks, tip is small, rounded with a very slight up-curved lip.
Underside: Covered with yellowish-white to yellow hair (pollen basket). Segment 6 at tip has very short yellow hair with only a few black intermixed.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata male on Cup Plant. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata male on Cup Plant. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Male:
Head: Black, large, square; thick long yellowish-white hair covering face. Top of head scant black hairs with a few white, but mostly bald, surface dull. Cheeks equal to eye width, with a thick fringe of white hair at back edge. Mandibles small, short with a short spine on underside, hidden by white hair.
Antenna: Black. Tips very slightly longer and wider.
Thorax: Black, bald, surrounded with a slight fringe of whitish hair. Thorax sides more gray-white with some white tufts.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) brownish-yellow. Wings tinted brownish-yellow, tips darker. Veins reddish-brown to black.
Legs: Black with yellowish-white fringe on underside of all thighs (femora). All shins lightly covered with yellowish hairs. Feet reddish-brown, mid foot (basitarsi) has dense short, yellowish-white hair.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata male close-up of unusual front leg. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata male close-up of unusual front leg. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Main ID: Front foot segment 1 (basitarsi) very large. Expanded front area has whitish-yellow hair with orange tip; very long fringe of orange-yellow, hair tips darker, on underside.
Abdomen: Black, parallel-sided
Segment 1: Base straight across, not rounded. Segment covered with long pale hair. Hair band on lower margin at side edges only.
Segments 2 to 4: Indented or grooved lines at base of segments, with white pile; sometimes not visible on 3 if segment is retracted, usually visible on segment 4. Lower margin has white hair bands, not interrupted at centre: narrow on 2; wider on 3 and 4.
Segment 5: Slightly curved under with sparse, narrow white hair band on lower margin.
Segment 6: Curved under. Tip has several small projections (not spines) each side of indented or notched centre.
Underside: Rows of yellowish-white hair tufts, almost as long as female’s pollen basket.

Size: Female 15 to 17 mm. Considered large. Male 11 to 13 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Said to prefer Sunflowers Helianthus, but the majority of bees can be found on Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatium even when Helianthus is available.

Flight Time: July and August

Life Cycle: Nests in borings of dead sumac twigs, trap-nests, rotting logs. Usually, Megachile females that use resin all have parallel-sided abdomens, not cone-shaped like the rest of the Megachile. M. pugnata also has a parallel-sided abdomen, but does not use resin, instead chews parts of leaves, mixing them with soil particles (not mud) and secretions from the abdomen tip for ‘glue’. Then, smooths the cell walls with her head. Egg to adult 36 to 37 days. One generation per year in Ontario, possibly two in Michigan (June to September).

Parasite: Leaf-cutter Cuckoo Bee Coelioxys alternata.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee, Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread in Ontario and southern Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Megachile campanulae

Bellflower Resin Bee
Megachile campanulae

 

Identification:

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Everlasting Pea. July 16, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Everlasting Pea. July 16, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.

Head: Black with scattered white hair on face. Top of head mostly bald. Mandibles black, 4 blunt teeth on female, 3 on male. Cheeks about equal to eye width; a few white hairs on lower half. Male has more hair on face and lower cheeks.
Antenna: Black, tips long. Female segments about the same size; male segment 1 very short.
Thorax: Black, bordered with scattering of white hair. Thorax sides scattered white hair, more dense around tubercles (pronotal lobe) which is a white crescent. Male has slightly more hair.
Wings: Wing knob black. Wings clear, darker at tips. Veins blackish.
Legs: Black with scattering of white hair. Female has hair more yellowish-brown and dense on feet. Underside of hind foot segment 1 (basitarsi) darker golden. Male feet dense white.

Megachile campanulae female stripes appear split.
Megachile campanulae female stripes appear split.

Abdomen: Black, long, narrow, parallel-sided on both male and female. (see Life Cycle)
Segment 1 has short, dense white hair band at side edges.
Segments 2 to 4: Very narrow hair band at the base of each segment. Each segment also has an indented line starting at the lower segment edge on each side and curving upward to the middle of the segment. These indentation are covered with thick, wide white pile at the side edges and fade out towards center.  Because the indented pile stripe is so close to the base stripe on the next segment, they have the appearance of a somewhat divided single stripe.
Segment 5 has only faint traces of a hair band at the base on female, more obvious on male.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Everlasting Pea. Aug 16, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Everlasting Pea. Aug 16, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.

Segment 6 covered with very short whitish hair, tip curves slightly upward on female; entire segment curved under on male with long white hair. Underside covered with yellowish-white hair (pollen basket) on female. Underside of male has only 3 visible segments with long white hair.

Similar Species: Very similar to Heriades carinata which does not have split stripes on abdomen. Otherwise almost identical.

Size: Female 10 to 12 mm. Male 8 to 9 mm.

Habitat: Meadows

Food: Flower nectar.

Flight Time: July to September

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Jerusalem Artichoke. Sep 12, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Jerusalem Artichoke. Sep 12, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.

Life Cycle: Nests made in wood, dead stems (like Sumac), clay (1 report) or plant debris. Megachile females that use resin all have parallel-sided abdomens, not cone-shaped like the rest of the Megachile. Cells are made from resin, small pebbles and mud. Although classed as a leaf-cutter, no leaves are used in cell construction.  2 to 9 cells per nest, with long partitions. Over-winters as larva in a sturdy white cocoon, not pupating until spring the next year. One generation per year.
Parasitized by the Cuckoo Bees Stelis louisae and Coelioxys modesta.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee. Niagara, Waterloo and Cayuga.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Stelis louisae

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee
Stelis louisae

 

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae female on Ox-eye Sunflower. Aug 15, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae female on Ox-eye Sunflower. Aug 15, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black with a few white hairs from antenna base to top of head. Wide yellow stripe up inner eye margin. Top of head (vertex) has yellow stripe which may be interrupted at center across back of head (see note). Simple eyes (ocelli) large. Mandibles black with 3 teeth. Cheeks slightly narrower than eye width. Male has yellow wavy stripe above mouth area (clypeus).

Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Black with yellow stripes. Collar yellow, continues around side edges to wing knobs (tegulae), widely interrupted at center. Segment 2 (scutellum) has two very small projections (axillae) at each side, yellow. Yellow continues around lower edge of segment 2. Thorax side has yellow tubercle with raised edge. Large yellow spot below tubercle; smaller spot behind wing base. (see note).
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) large, yellowish-brown. Wings lightly tinged, darker in marginal and sub-marginal cells. Veins brownish.
Legs: Thighs (femora) black with brownish-yellow tips; sometimes almost ½ black. Shins and feet brownish-yellow.

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae female on Ox-eye Sunflower. Aug 15, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae female on Ox-eye Sunflower. Aug 15, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Abdomen: Black with yellow marks.
Segment 1 has a wide band across segment, may be slightly reddish on lower edge.
Segment 2 has long oval spot at each side edge. (see note)
Segments 3 and 4 stripes have notches (emarginate) on base edge of stripe, may be entire, or interrupted.
Segment 5 has a short stripe more in center, unbroken.
Segment 6 entirely black, not spined.

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae male on Cup Plant. Aug 13, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae male on Cup Plant. Aug 13, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.

Male: Segment 7 entirely black; underside of segment 2 is large and partly covers segment 3. Segment 4 to 8 mostly hidden. Underside of abdomen tip has pair of thick spines at center, and a tuft of long hairs at each side edge. Female underside black.

Note: Marks at back of head and on the side of the thorax are usually missing in Ontario (Essex County considered the northern limit of the species) and an additional dashed line may be present at centre of abdomen segment 2 (references Johnson, 1979). Further south the yellow marks and legs are more orange. Because the male abdomen curls under, male and female are difficult to tell apart, except for the partly yellow clypeus on the male.

Size: 8 mm.

Habitat: Meadows and forest edges.

Food: Adults feed on nectar from flowers. Larva are parasites of other Leaf-cutter bees.

Flight Time: Mid-July to August

Life Cycle: Parasitizes Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae.

Comments: Apparently only found in Essex County – Point Pelee, Ojibway Prairies. Considered the northern extent of the species.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Hoplitis pilosifrons

Leaf-cutter Bee
Hoplitis pilosifrons

 

Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons female on Fleabane. June 07, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons female on Fleabane. June 07, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black, with short pale hair around antenna base and on lower cheeks. Area above mouth (clypeus) convex, long, extending beyond head. Mandibles with 3 teeth. Cheeks as wide as eye width. Male has dense hair over most of face, more yellowish and mandibles have 2 teeth.

Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons male on Fleabane. June 22, 2010 Celista, British Columbia.
Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons male on Fleabane. June 22, 2010 Celista, British Columbia.

Antenna: Female: Black, all segments equal in length. Underside more brownish-yellow. Tips not pointed like the male.
Male: Main ID: Base (scape) thick, swollen, widening at center. Segments thick, wider than long. Tips curved and indented forming a thin sharp point. Antenna brownish-yellow on underside.
Thorax: Black with short, pale hair. Hair much longer on male.Wings: Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) shiny black. Wings tinted, slightly darker along outer margin. Veins brownish.
Legs: Entirely black. Feet have cream-coloured hair on underside of female. Males have short, white hairs on legs, reddish toes.

Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons male on Oxeye Daisy. June 06, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons male on Oxeye Daisy. June 06, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Abdomen: Black, long, shiny. Segments 1 to 4 have white hair bands along lower margin of segments. Usually bands on 1 and 2 interrupted, others entire. Tip has thin fringe of white hair. Underside covered with yellowish-white hair (pollen basket). Male similar, with hair along side edges of abdomen; underside without hair and a large projection on underside of segment 2. Last few segments curled under, toothed.

Size: Female 6.5 to 8.5 mm. Male 7 to 8.5 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Prefers Beard-tongue Penstemon; other flowers like Dewberry Rubus, Fleabane and clover.

Flight Time: Mid May to July

Life Cycle: Nests in dead stems like Dewberry, Raspberry and Sunflower Helianthus. Females remove pith from stems and carry it about 1 to 3 feet away from nest before dropping it. Females partition cells in the stem by cutting leaves, but chewing them to form a pulp.
Parasite: Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Stelis lateralis.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies, Lake Erie Islands, Point Pelee. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Also in Peel County and southern Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Dianthidium simile

Leaf-cutter Bee
Dianthidium simile

Only one species occurs in Ontario. Black with white marks in Ontario. Farther south in U.S. the marks are yellow.

Identification:

Leaf-cutter Bee Dianthidium simile male on Stonecrop Sedum June 28, 2006 on Robinson Island, near Killarney, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Dianthidium simile male on Stonecrop Sedum June 28, 2006 on Robinson Island, near Killarney, Ontario.

Head: Dull black, rough; covered with very short pale hair. White mark behind each eye at top of head. Above mouth area (clypeus) white spot at each side, continues as a narrowing stripe up inner eye margins. Male has clypeus entirely white to pale yellow. Mandibles black on female, white on male; 3 teeth. Cheeks slightly narrower than eye width.
Note: Below the antenna bases, the antennal or sub-antennal sutures are usually curved, indented lines running down to clypeus, but on D. simile these lines are raised and jut outward – unique, but difficult to see.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Dull black, rough; very short white hairs. Collar (pronotum) widens considerably at each side edge; a white spot each side of center and another on tubercle on thorax side (pronotal lobe). Segment 1 has tiny points (axillae) at sides of lower margin, white and joined to stripe on segment 2. Segment 2 (scutellum) rounded at lower margin, with a wide white stripe following contours, and usually interrupted at centre. Thorax sides have long pale to whitish hairs under wing base.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish with a semi-circle of yellow to white on bottom edge. Wings darkly tinted, veins and marginal cell almost black.
Legs: Black with short, golden hair. Thighs (femora) have white at tips; less on male. Front and mid shins (tibiae) have large white streak. Hind shin has wide streak at base. Feet brownish-red on female; white streaks on male.
Abdomen: More shiny, black. Segment 1 has 3 squarish marks, two at side edges and one at centre. Segments 2 to 5 have curved white marks each side of center. Marks are thicker at each end. Segment 6 is entirely black. Segment 7 (male only) black base, rest white. Male abdomen tip white. Underside of female covered with golden hair (pollen basket). Underside of male somewhat reddish with long hair on 3 and 5.

Size: 8 to 10 mm. Male larger than female.

Habitat: Bare sand, with grasses; usually near streams, lakes or rivers and conifer trees.

Food: Nectar from a variety of flowers.

Flight Time: Late June to early September.

Life Cycle: Females dig their nests in sand, at the base of dried clumps of grass, forming a small cluster of cells with resin, small pebbles and sand. Nests usually face south and are hidden by dead grass leaves. Will nest communally (24 nests to 1 sq. meter (3 sq. feet). One report of a nest using rotting wood.

Comments: Northern Ontario; Sudbury, Muskoka, Parry Sound, Algonquin Park, Carleton County, Ottawa, Lanark, Victoria, Northumberland, Durham, Bruce, Georgian Bay (Go Home Bay BugGuide), Wellington (Guelph) and Norfolk.
Note: Two females collected at Port Hope, Ontario, July 28, 1895 (by W. H. Harrington, Nos. 52 and 53) reported by Swenk, 1914 – no records; not listed by Romankova 2003.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page