Nomada bella

Cuckoo Bee
Nomada bella

Identification:
Female:

Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella female on forest floor Apr 17, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella female on forest floor Apr 17, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Head: Reddish-brown, slightly hairy. Dark spot on top of head and around antenna bases. Mandibles toothed.
Antenna: Entirely reddish-brown.
Thorax: Reddish-brown with some pale hairs. Segment 1 has median black line. Segment 2 (scutellum) slightly indented along centre. Segment 3 (propodeum) has some black and pale hairs on sides. Thorax sides have black near lower edge, sides covered with dense silvery-white hair.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella female on garden bulb flower Apr 18, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella female on garden bulb flower Apr 18, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Tubercle (pronotal lobe) barely visible.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) dark reddish-yellow. Wings slightly tinged, tips darker. Veins dark, stigma reddish.
Legs: Entirely reddish-brown; except coxae and underside of thighs (femora) darker.
Abdomen: Reddish-brown, shiny with yellow spots.
Segment 1 base black, no yellow spots.
Segment 2 medium-sized, round yellow spot on each side.
Segments 3 & 4 faint spots or none.
Segment 5 two yellow spots close together at centre – distinct.
Underside entirely reddish-brown.

Similar species: Females of N. ovata are more red.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella male on Peach-leaf Willow catkin Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella male on Peach-leaf Willow catkin Apr 22, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario.

Male:
Head: Black, with dense pale hairs, more yellowish on top of head. Lower face (clypeus) yellowish with dark border and silvery hair. Inner eye margin narrow, yellowish-white extends from mouth to antenna bases. Cheeks about same width as eye width, hairy on lower half. Mandibles yellow with dark tips, toothed.
Antenna: Base (scape) entirely black. Segments dark reddish-brown with light tips; underside lighter. Segment 1 shorter than 2.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella male on Globe Flower Apr 11, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella male on Globe Flower Apr 11, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Thorax: Black, white erect long hairs. No yellow collar. Segment 2 (scutellum) entirely dark, dent in centre barely visible. Segment 3 (propodeum) black, white hairs on sides. Thorax sides densely hairy; tubercle brown, barely visible.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) deep reddish-brown. Wings hyaline, tips dark. Veins brownish-yellow.
Legs: Orangish-brown with dense white hairs on underside of thighs (femora), tips lighter orange. Hind leg darker. Shins (tibiae) with some dark streaks. Feet (tarsi) a darker reddish-brown.
Abdomen: Dark brown with wide yellow stripes or spots all interrupted at centre, except segment 6.
Segment 1 base dark with light yellowish spots vague at side edges, or missing.
Segment 2 has widest spots, usually with notch in upper margin-side corner, and slightly wavy along lower margin.
Segment 3 slightly narrow stripe.
Segments 4 and 5 have narrower stripes with lower margin of stripes having U-shaped, inset indents, which sometimes can break the stripe so that it appears as spots.
Segment 6 stripe continuous across segment.
Abdomen tip narrow, bi-lobed, with long hairs forming a point.
Underside is darker, sometimes with spot on each side of segment 3 and at tip.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella female on forest floor May 08, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella female on forest floor May 08, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Similar Species: N. maculata male has two-tone antenna on top side, abdomen is red, not black, and flies later in April.

Size: Male 5.5 to 8.5 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Pollen and nectar from flowers.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella male on Globe Flower Apr 11, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada bella male on Globe Flower Apr 11, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Flight Time: Early spring.

Life Cycle: Parasite on Mining Bee Andrena species; Andrena imitatrix is listed as a host, but does not fly in Ontario.

Comments: Essex County – per photos, not on any list. Also Peel County.

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

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