Nomada ovata

Cuckoo Bee
Nomada ovata

Identification:
Female: Conspicuously lighter than N. cuneata.

Head: Dark red. Black between and just above antenna bases and black spot on top of head. Lower face brownish-yellow. A narrow yellow line continues up inner eye margin to base of antenna. Mandibles toothed, yellow, tips dark. Cheeks narrower than eye width, white hairs; hind margin black.
Antenna: Entirely red. Segment 1 shorter than 2.
Thorax: Dark red. Segment 1 (scutum) has wide black median band. Segment 2 (scutellum) knobs very small, same colour as background, hardly any indent. Segment 3 (propodeum) red with black median line near end, white hairs at side edges. Thorax side dark area from wing bases to between mid and hind legs. Tubercles (pronotal lobes) brownish-yellow. White hairs on thorax sides.
Wings: King knobs (tegulae) brownish-yellow. Wings slightly tinted, tips dark. Veins and stigma dark.
Legs: Clear red to brownish-yellow, not blackened.
Abdomen: Red, long, oval  with yellow spots variable from none to most segments.
Segment 1 base and sides black. No yellow.
Segment 2 small yellow spot each side, pointed toward centre.
Segment 3 smaller yellow spot each side, at extreme base and may be hidden.
Segment 4 yellow spots at each side, sometimes absent.
Segment 5 yellow spots, occasionally joined to form a bar, or may be absent.
Tip rounded or ovate – thus the name, hairy.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada ovata male on Dewberry. May 30, 2007 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada ovata male on Dewberry. May 30, 2007 Wheatley, Ontario.

Male:
Head: Black. Upper face (front) dark. Lower face narrowly yellow, with wide and long dark area below antenna bases. Yellow continues up inside margin of eyes to base of antenna and around bottom of eye to half way up back eye margin. Cheeks slightly narrower than eye width. Mandibles toothed. Not much white hair.
Antenna: Base (scape) enlarged, brownish-yellow, more yellow on underside. Segments also brownish-yellow. Segment 1 slightly shorter or same as 2.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada ovata male on Wild Gernaium. May 24, 2006 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada ovata male on Wild Gernaium. May 24, 2006 Wheatley, Ontario.

Thorax: Red with black streaks. Collar brownish-yellow. Segment 1 (scutum) median black line. Segment 2 (scutellum) spotted with yellow, sometimes red, deep indent. Segment 3 (propodeum) black with white hairs. Thorax sides black, with white hairs. Tubercles (pronotal lobes) brownish-yellow, larger brownish-yellow spot below tubercles.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) brownish-yellow. Wings slightly tinted, tips darker.
Legs: Brownish-yellow. Mid and hind thigh (femora) black, tips lighter.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada ovata male on Dewberry. May 30, 2007 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada ovata male on Dewberry. May 30, 2007 Wheatley, Ontario.

Abdomen: Red.
Segment 1 may have yellow.
Segment 2 wide yellow stripe, narrowly interrupted.
Segment 3 narrower yellow stripe, narrowly interrupted.
Segments 4 to 6 sometimes have yellow spots.
Tip deeply bi-lobed.

Size: Female 7.5 to 10 mm. Male 7 to 9.5 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Flower nectar.

Flight Time: May to June in Ontario.

Life Cycle: Parasitic on Mining bees Andrena.

Comments: Essex County – photos. Niagara – St. Catharines per Rutgers-Kelly thesis. Also in S. Michigan, Livingston County.

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

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