Nomada luteoloides

Cuckoo Bee
Nomada luteoloides

 

Cuckoo Bee Nomada luteoloides female
Cuckoo Bee Nomada luteoloides female on Ox-eye Daisy June 06, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario
Cuckoo Bee Nomada luteoloides male
Cuckoo Bee Nomada luteoloides male on dandelion Apr 29, 2007 Kingsville, Ontario


Female:
Head: Black with sparse pale hair. Lower face (clypeus) yellowish. Wide yellow band almost completely surrounds eye margin. Cheeks almost as wide as eye width. Mandibles without teeth.
Antenna: Base (scape) reddish-brown, underside brownish-yellow. Segments dark; reddish-brown on underside.
Thorax: Black, with a thin yellow line on edge above wing base. Collar bright yellow. Segment 2 (scutellum) has two large bright yellow knobs and a yellow line below. Segment 3 (propodeum) has large yellow side patches. Thorax sides have a very large yellow patch below 1 or 2 small spots. Tubercles (pronotal lobes) bright yellow. Underside of thorax dark.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegula) bright yellow. Wings tinted reddish, tips slightly darker. Veins reddish yellow.
Legs: Thighs (femora) largely reddish with wide yellow tips; may have black streaks. Shins (tibiae) yellow with reddish-brown streaks. Feet light brown.
Abdomen: Reddish-brown with wide, bright yellow stripes; all except first stripe entire across segments. Segment 2 has the widest stripe. Abdomen tip wide, square. Underside of 2 to 6 are yellow, margins reddish. Underside of segment 5 has a dense tuft of long, curved, brownish hairs which meet at center, and segment also covered with silvery hair.

Male:
Head: Black with short, pale yellowish hair over entire head. Lower face (clypeus) yellow. Eye margins have yellow border almost complete. Cheeks narrower than eye width. Mandibles quite slender, no teeth.
Antenna: Base (scape) dark on top side, bright yellow and enlarged on underside. Segments dark on top side, brownish-yellow on underside. Segment 1 shorter than 2. Rest slightly longer than wide. Segment 3 without spines, but 7 to 10 with spines (denticles).
Thorax: Black with short, pale yellowish hair. Segment 1 (scutum) without marks. Segment 2 (scutellum) has two very small yellow knobs, may be absent. Segment 3 (propodeum) has each side fringed with light hair. Thorax sides have bright yellow tubercle (pronotal lobe) with a mark below. Underside densely covered with light hair.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) bright yellow. Wings slightly tinted, tips darker. Veins brownish.
Legs: Thighs (femora) black with wide yellow tips; underside fringed with dense white hair. Shins (tibiae) bright yellow with faint brownish-red patches. Feet yellow, hind foot 1st segment brown, rest orange-brown.
Abdomen: Black with bright yellow stripes all entire across segments, except the first. Segment 2 widest. Segment 3 and 4 stripes are narrower than the dark area below the stripe. Underside of abdomen mostly yellow. Tip as wide as long, notched with dense erect hair.

Similar Species: N. imbricata has wide reddish lower margins on abdomen.

Size: Female 9.5 to 12 mm Male 8.5 to 11.5 mm

Habitat: Forest edges.

Food: Wild Strawberry and other spring flowers. Larvae feed on food stored by Mining Bees Andrena.

Flight Time: April to June

Life Cycle: Females steal into Mining Bee Andrena nests to lay their eggs.

Comments: Essex County – photos. Peel County – per photos. Also in Southern Michigan – Livingston County.

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

Nomada armatella

Cuckoo Bee
Nomada armatella

 

Cuckoo Bee Nomada armatella female
Cuckoo Bee Nomada armatella female on Ox-eye Daisy June 03, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario
Cuckoo Bee Nomada armatella male
Cuckoo Bee Nomada armatella male on Ox-eye Daisy June 06, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario
Cuckoo Bee Nomada armatella female
Cuckoo Bee Nomada armatella female on Ox-eye Daisy June 03, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario

Identification: Only the male is described in entomology journals

Female:
Head: Light reddish-brown with pale to whitish hair. No yellow marks, except faint yellowish stripe at back of eye, reaching only to mid eye. Mandibles without teeth. Black patch between and above antenna and around simple eyes (ocelli).
Antenna: Base (scape) and antenna reddish-brown.
Thorax: Light reddish-brown. Collar thin, yellow, may have slight break at center. Segment 1 (scutum) has faint black median stripe, indented. Segment 2 (scutellum) raised, bright yellow. Segment 3 (propodeum) dark with a pair of large yellow, longitudinal patches and white fringe on each side edge. Thorax sides entirely light reddish-brown sprinkled with short, whitish hair. Tubercle (pronotal lobe) bright yellow.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish-brown. Wings tinted brownish, clear spot just before wing tip. Thin line along costal border and small stigma darker reddish-brown.
Legs: Reddish, faintly lighter at tips of segments. Mid and hind coxae have silvery-white hair. Shins (tibiae) covered with short white pile. Feet slight darker. Hind shin tip has white hairs on underside.
Abdomen: Light reddish-brown with bright yellow stripes.
Segment 1 base dark; stripe indented and interrupted at center.
Segment 2 large stripe, indented at center.
Segments 3 to 5 stripes narrower and entire across segments.
Tip yellow, bi-lobed similar to male but shorter and wider.

Male:
Head: Dark brown to black with long, thick silvery hair. Lower face (clypeus) yellow, yellow continuing up inner eye margin past antenna bases. Cheeks as wide as eye width. Mandibles thin, toothless, yellow with reddish tips.
Antenna: Base (scape) slightly swollen, reddish on top side and yellow on underside. Segments reddish, slightly darker on basal segments. Underside of segments brownish-yellow. Segment 1 very short.
Thorax: Dark brown to black, with long, pale hair. Light yellow collar stripe very short and thin, hardly visible. Segment 1 (scutum) dark brown to black; no other marks. Segment 2 (scutellum) has two raised yellow spots, surrounded with faint reddish-brown. Segment 3 (propodeum) black, sparsely covered with white hairs, more dense along each side edge. Thorax sides slightly darker than top; under wing base a tiny rusty reddish-yellow mark. Tubercles (pronotal lobes) pale yellow. Lower thorax covered with thick white hair. Underside has thick dense whitish hair, obscuring surface.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) yellowish-brown. Wings darkly tinted, base and spot before wing tips clear. 2nd submarginal cell wider than 3rd on top edge. Veins brownish.
Legs: Thighs (femora) dark reddish-brown, tips lighter; underside black. Hind thigh slender. Shins reddish-yellow, tips lighter. Front and middle feet (tarsi) yellow. Hind foot darker.
Abdomen: Reddish-brown, all segments with yellow stripes very slightly interrupted at center by a red line.
Segment 1 base is black, in middle is a narrow, rippled stripe.
Segments 2 to 4 mostly yellow. Segment 2 stripe very large and may be notched along lower border.
Segment 5 stripe notched and narrowed along lower margin, barely reaches side of segment edge.
Segment 6 stripe is short, more at center of segment than sides.
Underside of abdomen is very dark reddish-brown, very fine pale hairs and tip deeply notched, narrow, yellowish and very hairy.

Size: Female 9 to 11 mm long. Male 8 to 10 mm long.

Habitat: Forests where there are Andrena Mining bees.

Food: Adults eat nectar. Larvae are parasites on Mining Bees Andrena

Flight Time: May to August.

Life Cycle: Parasitic on Mining Bee Andrena vicina, and possibly Metallic Green Bees Agapostemon.

Comments: Essex County (my photos). Ontario – Williamsburg (near Cornwall) per Barcode of life data systems (BOLD). Also in Michigan – Livingston County.

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

Triepeolus simplex

Cuckoo Bee
Triepeolus simplex

 

Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus simplex female
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus simplex female on Virginia Mountain Mint Aug 13, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus simplex female
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus simplex female on Oregano July 29, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification: Black area on abdominal segment 1 is small, sub-triangular. Stripes medium yellow, fading to white on last few abdominal segments. Median lines on thorax touch collar. Female abdomen tip mostly bare.
Head: Black with yellowish hairs around antenna bases on female. Male face covered with yellow hair. Lower face (clypeus) has no center longitudinal ridge.
Antenna: Black; base (scape) and segment 1 may have some reddish-brown to orange.
Thorax: Black with thin, intermittent yellow lines around all segments. Collar has thick yellowish pile. Segment 1 (scutum) has two yellow median stripes, one on each side of an indented center line. These stripes touch the collar (lines widen on male). Segment 2 (scutellum) has long slender tooth (axillae) at each side edge. Segment 3 (propodeum) has line of hairs along outside edges. Thorax side has dark tubercle with yellow fringe. Under tubercle is another crescent or lunate mark. Tufts of hair behind and below wing bases. No yellow hair on underside.
Wings: Wings evenly tinted; not darker at tips. Veins dark.
Legs: Thighs (femora) dark, tips light. Shins (tibiae) and feet reddish-brown, infused with dark streaks. Spurs dark. Underside of legs may have yellowish pile.
Abdomen: Black with yellow stripes, colorr fades on last few segments.
Segment 1 has two stripes; the side thickly joined together. Centre black area is small and sub-triangular. Both stripes are slightly interrupted at centre.
Segment 2 stripe complete across segment; small mark above stripe at each side edge is squarish; smaller or absent on male.
Segment 3 stripe complete across segment.
Segment 4 stripe also compete, but paler.
Female segment 5 has only scattered whitish hairs. No white crescent. Tip indented (concave), squared. Underside dark, rarely with some white pile on sides of 2 and 3, but no stripes.
Male segment 5 stripe is narrow, whitish, continuous across segment. Segment 6 (male) usually without stripe, but may have a small white dash at centre. Underside of segments dark, rarely with some white pile on sides of 2 and 3, but no stripes. Segment 4 has fringe of long brown curved hairs. Segment 5 has only very short brown hair.

Similar Species: On Triepeolus lunatus – thorax mid stripes do not touch collar, underside of abdominal segments 2 to 4 are striped, clypeus has a ridged mid-line and the female has a crescent on abdomen tip.

Size: Female 13 mm. Male 12 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Adults feed on pollen and nectar.

Flight Time: July and August

Life Cycle: Larvae are cleptoparasites of Digger or Long-horned bees Melissodes species. Listed as a possible parasite of Melissodes communis which does not fly in Ontario. See Comments.

Comments: Triepeolus simplex flies only in Ontario in Canada. Niagara region per Cordero thesis from Brock University. Essex County (my photos). Also in Michigan.
T. simplex is uncommon in Wheatley: once in 2009 and twice in August of 2013.

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

Sleeping Arrangements

Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata male
Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata male on Purple Giant Hyssop July 22, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

The Two-spotted Digger Bee  Melissodes bimaculata is named for the white patches on each side of the abdomen of the female. The males showed up first, (no patches) on English Lavender and Purple Giant Hyssop, around July 15 last year (2016). At night they slept by hanging on to the leaves of Obedient Plant Physostegia virginiana.

 

 

 

Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male on Obedient Plant July 16, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

By July 22, the Cuckoo Bees Triepeolus lunatus showed up, at least 5 females and 1 male. They all hung around the Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).
Triepeolus lunatus females hunt for the Two-spotted nests and lay eggs in their cells. When the Cuckoo larva hatches, it either eats the egg or the larva, and then feeds on its nectar/pollen mixture stored in the cell.

 

 

Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata female
Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata female on Big Bluestem flowers Aug 17, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

The Two-spotted females showed up around the first of August, favoring the Giant Purple Hyssop and were quite attracted to the pollen on Big Bluestem. They spent the night in their nests near the Obedient Plants.

 

 

 

 

Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female sleeping
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female sleeping on Obedient Plant Aug 04, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

But the others all slept together on the Obedient Plants! Both the male and female Cuckoo Bees and the Two-spotted males. Not on the same leaf, but very close and quite comfortable with each other.

Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata males sleeping
Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata males sleeping on Obedient Plant July 28, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Triepeolus lunatus

Cuckoo Bee
Triepeolus lunatus

 

Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female sleeping
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female sleeping on Obedient Plant Aug 04, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female on Black-eyed Susan Aug 12, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male on Blanketflower July 19, 2006 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male on Cup Plant Aug 22, 2008 Wheatley, Ontario.


Identification:
All marks vary from yellow to pale yellowish.
Head: Black. Female has dense yellowish hair around antenna bases. Male has silvery hair over entire face.
Antenna: Black; sometime with reddish-brown on base (scape), pedicel and segment 1.
Thorax: Black; segments have intermittent pale yellowish outline. Collar thick, unbroken. Segment 1 (scutum) has longitudinal pair of very short stripes each side of centre; these stripes do not touch collar. Segment 2 (scutellum) has two thick yellowish lines on lower margin. Segment 3 (propodeum) has an arc of white hair at each side, curving down toward centre. Thorax side tubercle has a dense yellowish fringe, and another spot next to it; female has wide, intermittent line of yellowish hair from tubercle up to wing base and ending in a tuft near propodeum and another crescent patch below tubercle. Thorax side of male sparsely covered with feathery yellowish hair, except for one small bare spot.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish on female, black on male. Wings slightly tinted, tips darker. Veins black.
Legs: Reddish-brown, covered with silvery-white hair. Thighs (femora) with black streaks on female. Male thighs entirely black. Northern Ontario males may have legs almost entirely black. Female has red feet, male has black.
Abdomen: Black with yellow to pale yellowish stripes; stripes wider on male.
Segment 1 has two stripes. Base stripe wide and extremely wide at side edge joint. Lower stripe is narrow. Both are interrupted at center. Black area between the two stripes is a small triangle shape.
Segment 2 stripe narrowly interrupted at center. Side patches present or not.
Segments 3 and 4 stripes continuous across segments. Segment 4 paler yellow.
Segment 5 on female has a triangular grayish patch at each side edge, pointing inward. Another grayish triangle on lower margin also points inward (or up) and had a dark oval center with dark hairs.
Underside blackish. Segments 2 to 4 striped. Segment 5 not concave.
Segments 5 and 6 on male stripes are almost white to silvery-white.
Underside of 2-3 have white hair stripes; 4-5 have long tufts of brown/white hair. Tip narrowing, square.

Similar Species: T. simplex has median stripes on thorax touching collar. Underside of abdominal segments 2-4 striped in T. lunatus; side tufts only in T. simplex. Male underside of segment 5 hair is very short on T. simplex; a long tuft on T. lunatus.

Size: 8 to 13 mm

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Adults feed on nectar and pollen.

Flight Time: June to August

Life Cycle: Larvae are parasites of Long-horned or Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies. Also in Michigan.

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

Epeolus scutellaris

Cuckoo Bee
Epeolus scutellaris

 

Cuckoo Bee Epeolus scutellaris female
Cuckoo Bee Epeolus scutellaris female on grass blade, Sep 03, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Epeolus scutellaris male
Cuckoo Bee Epeolus scutellaris male on Black-eyed Susan Aug 21, 2009. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black with yellowish-white hair around antenna bases in female; across mid-face in male. Cheeks narrow, female about half as wide as eye width; males only ¼ as wide as eye width. Mandibles reddish on female; all black on male.
Antenna: Base (scape) reddish to yellowish-brown. First 3 segments reddish on female. Rest dark brown-black. All dark brown-black on male.
Thorax: Rough with yellowish-white hair. Collar stripe uninterrupted. Segment 1 (scutum) has two stripes, one each side of mid line. Segment 2 (scutellum) has deep groove down centre; brown in male, side points (axillae) reddish-brown; all entirely red in female. Axillae are large and project past end of scutellum. Thorax sides rough, tubercles reddish-brown, surrounded with yellowish-white fringe. Bands of yellowish-white hair under wing base and transverse across centre of thorax side; lower half bare. Underside of thorax densely hairy.
Wings: Wing knob (tegulae) reddish-brown. Wings lightly tinted, becoming slightly darker at tips. Veins brownish. Stigma amber.
Legs: Legs reddish-brown. Male has underside of mid and hind thigh (femora) dark. Feet reddish. Spurs dark.
Abdomen: Black with pale yellow stripes along lower borders of segments.
Segment 1 has two stripes which are slightly or not joined at side edges. Lower stripe has a very narrow interrupt at centre.
Segment 2 stripe also slightly interrupted at centre; entire in male.
Segments 3 to 5 have uninterrupted stripes.
Segment 5 stripe quite wide and indented at centre on lower margin.
Tip is twice as wide as long with a bright white crescent in female.
Male tip rounded, black or orange.
Underside shiny, no pile. Segments 2 and 3 have white stripes.

Similar Species: E. pusillus has thorax sides entirely covered with hair, abdominal stripes on segment 1 are connected at side edges.
Female thorax segment 2 (scutellum) is black with red points (axillae) in E. pusillus; entirely red in E. scutellaris.

Size: Female 9 to 10 mm.   Male 7 to 9 mm.

Flight Time: July to September.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: The larva are cleptoparasites of Plasterer Bees Colletes. Adults eat nectar.

Life Cycle: All species of Epeolus are cleptoparasites of Plasterer Bees Colletes. The female finds Plasterer bee nests, enters and lays an egg. When larva hatch, it kills the Plasterer bee egg, and feeds on the stored pollen, nectar. Host is Colletes simulans armatus per Ascher.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies, Point Pelee National Park. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Also in southern Michigan.
“During rainy or windy weather, this insect secures itself to the edge of a leaf or to the small branch of a bush, by its mandibles, retracts the feet to the body, and projects the antennae forwards.” Thomas Say, 1824.

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

Epeolus lectoides

Cuckoo Bee
Epeolus lectoides

 

Cuckoo Bee Epeolus lectoides female
Cuckoo Bee Epeolus lectoides female on Butterfly Weed July 13, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Bee Epeolus lectoides male
Cuckoo Bee Epeolus lectoides male on Butterfly Weed June 30, 2011 at Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black, covered with very short, silvery hair. Lower face (clypeus) dark and bare. Cheeks very narrow about 1/3 eye width. Mandibles red, base and tips black.
Antenna: Black. Underside of base (scape) and segments 1 to 2 have some yellowish-brown to reddish-brown.
Thorax: Black, smooth and shiny. Collar stripe whitish. Segment 1 (scutum) with two white longitudinal lines, one on each side of centre; may be faint on male. Segment 2 (scutellum) black, lobed or indented at center on lower margin; points at each side (axillae) usually black, but can be slightly reddened on female sometimes. Thorax sides shiny, sparsely covered with silvery hairs. Tubercles partly reddish-brown, surrounded with white fringe. Underside of thorax covered with dense silvery hair.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) brownish-yellow on female, more reddish on male. Wings hyaline at base, gradually darkening to very dark wide band at tips. Veins brownish.
Legs: Brownish-yellow. Coxae black. Top of hind thigh (femur) somewhat dark. Hind shin darker in mid area. Mid and hind spurs dark.
Abdomen: Black and shiny. Lower edge of all segments have a light yellowish-hyaline rim. All stripes are white, very narrow and slightly interrupted at centre; placed just above lower margin border on each segment.
Segment 1 has 2 narrow, interrupted stripes.
Segment 2 has faint patch at side edges above narrow, interrupted stripe.
Segments 3 and 4 narrow, interrupted.
Segment 5 on female has wide greyish triangular patches on each side and a bright, silvery crescent at centre on lower edge.
Segment 6 on male has stripe entire.
Tip is twice as wide as long, squarish on female, round on male.
Underside of abdomen has dense, white, scaly hairs and stripes on 2 to 4.

Similar Species: Epeolus ilicis has rough, dull thorax; segment 2 (scutellum) lower edge is straight across, not lobed like E. lectoides. In E. ilicis, abdominal stripes rest on lower margin of each segment and not all stripes are interrupted. E. ilicis is rare in Ontario with 3 reported: 1 from Cochrane north of Timmins (#25153 Discover Life no date), 1 from Bruce Peninsula in 1953 and 1 from Guelph in 1978.

Size: 7 to 10 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Adults feed on nectar and pollen of a variety of flowers.

Flight Time: July to September

Life Cycle: The female finds Plasterer bee Colletes nests, enters and lays an egg in provisioned cells. When larva hatches, it kills the Plasterer bee, and feeds on the stored pollen and nectar.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park. Kent County – Rondeau Prov. Park. Also in southern Michigan, Livingston County.

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