Nomada pygmaea

Cuckoo Bee
Nomada pygmaea

Identification:

Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea female on Golden Alexanders, May 29, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea female on Golden Alexanders, May 29, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.

Female:
Head: Head dark red, somewhat yellowish on lower face, but not bright yellow. Eyes completely encircled with rusty reddish brown. Black patch over and between antenna, top of head between ocelli only. Cheeks nearly as wide as eyes, hind ½ or more black. Mandibles slender and simple at tips.
Antenna: Base (scape) more brownish-yellow. Segments dark brownish yellow on underside, darker on top side.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea female on Dogbane. Jun 26, 2004 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea female on Dogbane. Jun 26, 2004 Wheatley, Ontario.

Thorax: Dark red. Collar same, edges may be black. Segment 1 (scutum) red with a middle black line. Segment 2 (scutellum) red, quite deeply indented at centre. Segment 3 (propodeum) mostly reddish with black median line, sides black, with white hair. Thorax sides front half dark red, hind half all black; line of white hairs near lower edge of segment. Tubercles (pronotal lobes) brownish-yellow. Underside dense white hair.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish-yellow. Wings lightly tinted at base, sometimes distinctly yellowish, becoming rather deeply tinted along outer margin and in marginal cell, only at top. Veins brownish yellow to dark.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea female on Bittersweet May 29, 2007 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea female on Bittersweet May 29, 2007 Wheatley, Ontario.

Legs: Brownish-yellow. Thighs (femora) more or less dark, except at tips. Hind feet 1st segment (basitarsi) darkened, with white hairs.
Abdomen: Segments dark red.
Segment 1 dark across base of segment. No yellow.
Segments 2 and 3 only with widely separated, yellow marks.
Tip very short with silvery-white hairs, may appear as a whitish-yellow line.
Underside reddish, last segment has a very small tuft of brownish hairs on each side.

Male:

Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea male on False Indigo. Jun 13, 2016 Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea male on False Indigo. Jun 13, 2016 Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.

Head: Upper face black. Lower face dull yellow to whitish, with thick white hair. Black, wavy line (suture) from each antenna base down to clypeus. Yellow stripe extends up inner eye margin to antenna bases, then becomes narrower around rest of eye, including the back. Black patch around antenna and on top of head. Cheeks much narrower than eye width, largely black, lower area covered with white hair. Mandibles toothless, bright yellow, tips dark.
Antenna: Base (scape) swollen, blackish on top side, bright yellow on underside. Base half of segments dark, rest lighter; underside brownish-yellow. Segment 1 and 3 shorter than all other segments.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea male on Golden Alexanders, June 01, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea male on Golden Alexanders, June 01, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.

Thorax: Reddish brown or black with reddish streaks. Collar yellowish-red, wide interrupt at centre. Segment 1 (scutum) with a middle black line. Segment 2 (scutellum) deeply and sharply indented in centre, reddish-yellowish. Segment 3 (propodeum) entirely black with white hairs on each side. Thorax sides mostly black with a some reddish-brown, tubercles (pronotal lobes) and sometimes a small spot behind yellowish-red, lower sides densely covered with white hair. Hair entirely white on underside.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea male on False Indigo. Jun 13, 2016 Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea male on False Indigo. Jun 13, 2016 Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.

Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish-yellow. Wings sub-hyaline at base, becoming faintly tinted in marginal cell and at tips. Veins brownish yellow.
Legs: Reddish-brown, except all thighs (femora) black at base half. Dense white hairs on underside of all legs.
Abdomen: Base segment dark reddish-brown, rest much lighter reddish-brown.
Segment 1 black at base.
Segments 2 wide stripe, narrowing and slightly interrupted at center.
Segment 3 narrow stripe, slightly broken at center. May be absent.
Segment 4 band, widely interrupted. May be absent.
Segments 5 and 6 more or less yellowish brown at bases. No yellow bands.
Tip about as wide as long, distinctly notched.
Underside of all segments quite densely hairy, 2 to 4 yellowish brown; segments 1, 5 and 6 are darker.

Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea female on Nannyberry June 02, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea female on Nannyberry June 02, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea male about 5-6 mm on Climbing Bittersweet leaf June 01, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Nomada pygmaea male about 5-6 mm on Climbing Bittersweet leaf June 01, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.

Size: Female 7 to 8 mm. Male 6 to 8.5 mm

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Flower nectar.

Flight Time: Late April to end of June

Life Cycle: Parasitic on Mining Bees Andrena.

Comments: Essex County: Ojibway Prairies insect list, 2008 as c.f. (close form). Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Peel, Norfolk counties and Algonquin Park. Also in southern Michigan (Livingston County).

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

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