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…