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Agapostemon melliventris Cresson, 1874
Agapostemon fasciatus Crawford, 1901; Halictus fasciatus_homonym (Crawford, 1901); Halictus (Agapostemon) plurifasciatus Vachal, 1903, replacement name; Agapostemon digueti Cockerell, 1924

Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Halictidae   Agapostemon
Subgenus: Agapostemon

Agapostemon melliventris FEM mm .x f
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Agapostemon melliventris FEM mm .x f

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Agapostemon melliventris MALE mm .x f
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Agapostemon melliventris MALE mm .x f
Agapostemon melliventris, honey-bellied sweat bee
© Copyright John Ascher, 2006-2014 · 6
Agapostemon melliventris, honey-bellied sweat bee

Agapostemon melliventris
Ron Hemberger · 1
Agapostemon melliventris
Agapostemon melliventris
Ron Hemberger · 1
Agapostemon melliventris

Agapostemon melliventris, head
Ron Hemberger · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, head
Agapostemon melliventris, top
Ron Hemberger · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, top

Agapostemon melliventris, face
Smithsonian, NMNH - Entomology · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, face
Agapostemon melliventris, side
Smithsonian, NMNH - Entomology · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, side

Agapostemon melliventris, top
Smithsonian, NMNH - Entomology · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, top
Agapostemon melliventris, wing
Smithsonian, NMNH - Entomology · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, wing

Agapostemon melliventris, male, T1, mtg
© Kimberly Huntzinger, 2007 · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, male, T1, mtg
Agapostemon melliventris, female, head, mtg
© Kimberly Huntzinger, 2007 · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, female, head, mtg

Agapostemon melliventris, female, hindtibia1, mtg
© Kimberly Huntzinger, 2007 · 1
Agapostemon melliventris, female, hindtibia1, mtg
Extracted from: Roberts, 1973. Bees of Northwester America: AGAPOSTEMON. Agricultural Experimental Station. Oregon State University.

Synonymy: Agapostemon fasciatus Crawford, 1901; Halictus (Agapostemon) pluri f asciatus Vachal, 1903; Agapostemon digueti Cockerell, 1924.

Diagnosis. The male of this species has a bright metallic green head and thorax, and a yellow metasoma with narrow black bands. It may be distinguished from males of other species found in the Northwest by the restriction of brown or black to narrow subapical bands on its metasomal terga.

The female of A. melliventris has a bright metallic green head and a honey-colored metasoma banded with short, dense, white hair. In some populations, the female metasoma is black instead of honey-color, but this variant has not vet been found in the Northwest. The female of A. melliventris may be distinguished from females of other species in this region by the presence of a yellow band on the apical margin of its clypeus. In addition, it is the only species in the Northwest whose females have a honey-colored metasoma.

Distribution. This species is most abundant in the and southwestern United States and northern Mexico. However, it ranges as far east as eastern Kansas and as far north as northern Montana. In the Northwest it has been found in southeastern Oregon and in the Snake River Valley of Idaho (Fig. 17).

Biology. Little is known of the habits of these bees. Linsley (1946) notes that in the alfalfa-growing regions of California A. melliventris "nests deep in the soil, below the level of cultivation."
Extracted from: Roberts, 1972. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin. Agapostemon melliventris Cresson 1874 (not 1875). Type $, Academy of Natural Sciences,

Agapostemon fasciatus Crawford 1901 (new synonymy). Type $, U.S. National Museum.
Halictus (Agapostemon) plurifasciatus Vachal 1903 (new synonymy).
Agapostemon digueti Cockerell 1924. Type $, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.

Cresson described this species as new in two different publications (1874,
1875). Obviously the earlier publication is valid and the latter superfluous.

I have seen the types of Agapostemon melliventris, A. fasciatus and A.
digueti and believe they are conspecific. Agapostemon fasciatus Crawford
has been considered by most authors to be of subspecific rank because it
differs from A. melliventris sensu stricto in having females with black meta-
somal terga. I have accorded it neither subspecific status, because in many
areas (cf. Arizona, Fig. 6) it is sympatric with A. melliventris s.s., nor
specific status because intermediate forms are too common (cf. discussion
of variation).

When Vachal placed Agapostemon in the genus Halictus, Agapostemon
fasciatus became a junior secondary homonym of Halictus fasciatus Ny-
lander. Thus Vachal renamed the former Halictus (Agapostemon) pluri-
fasciatus. Few workers agreed with Vachal's placement of Agapostemon
as a subgenus of Halictus. If other workers wish to apply a name to this
dark color form they should use the epithet proposed by Vachal. Cockerell (1937a) and Michener {In Muesebeck, et al., 1951) believed Crawford's
epithet should be used, but according to the International Code of Zoological
Nomenclature (anonymous, 1964) secondary homonyms rejected before
1961 cannot be revived (cf. Agapostemon coloradinus).

Diagnosis. The male may be distinguished from other species of
Agapostemon by its yellow metasomal terga with brown to brown-black
restricted to narrow subapical bands. The female may be distinguished
from other North American species (except A. nasutus, A. leuncitlus and
A. peninsitlaris) by the yellow band on the lower margin of its clypeus;
from A. nasutus by the lack of a yellow spot on the posterior lobe of its
pronotum; from A. leuncitlus by its lack of a prominent carina extending
postero-ventrally from the lateral angle of the pronotum; and from A.
peninsitlaris by its coarser propodeal sculpturing and less dense pubescence.
In most females of A. melliventris the metasomal terga are pale amber,
unlike the black metasomal terga of A. peninsitlaris (and some specimens
of A. melliventris).

Variation. The most striking variation is the color of the metasoma
of females (see map, Fig. 6). In females from the central plains of Okla-
homa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, the metasoma is almost always
black. From the opposite side of the range, in females from Baja California
and Sonora, it is more commonly black than amber. In the remaining por-
tion of the range the female metasoma is usually amber, but a few females
with the metasoma black or dark brown may be found in these regions.
I have seen specimens intermediate with respect to color of abdomen in all
areas, but they are rare in the central plains. The amount of yellow on the
clypeus and scape is positively correlated with the paleness of the metasoma,
those specimens from the central plains having a narrow band of yellow on
the clypeus and little or no yellow on the scape.

There is no variation in the color or color pattern of males corresponding
to that of females. The size and darkness of the brown regions on the meta-
soma, legs and antennae varies slightly within, but not among, populations.

One of the most obvious variables in the phenotype is size. As shown
in Figures 93-94, the linear dimensions of larger specimens may be nearly
twice those of smaller specimens collected at the same time and place. This
size variation is somewhat greater among males than among females and
does not appear to be influenced by geographic factors.


male (Figs. 92-94, 155, 188, 203)

General coloration of head and mesosoma bright metallic green to blue-
green, metasoma yellow with narrow brown bands; all pubescence white. Head (Figs. 92-94): (1) Labrum as in A. texanus but with transparent
distal margin slightly wider. (2) Clypeus with medium-sized punctures
separated by about their diameters below, nearly contiguous above. (3)
Interocular area with medium-sized, moderately deep, contiguous punctures
becoming minute, shallow and sub-contiguous ventro-laterally. (4) Vertex
with medium-sized, moderately deep, contiguous punctures anteriorly, be-
coming slightly smaller and shallower laterally, and rugulose posteriorly
and between ocelli. (5) Gena with very weak, short, parallel carinulae ex-
tending postero-dorsally from antero-ventral margin. (6) Malar area yellow;
short. (7) Mandible yellow with distal third ferruginous to amber. (8)
Antenna with scape yellow (small brown spot apically on upper side on
some specimens); pedicel dark brown above, yellow below; flagellum dark
brown above (yellow at apex of last flagellomere) and yellow to pale amber
below. Mesosoma: (9) Pronotum with lateral angle and posterior lobe
rounded; low rounded vertical ridge below lateral angle and faint, parallel,
horizontal carinae below posterior lobe. (10) Mesoscutum with moderately
fine, moderately deep, contiguous punctures becoming rugose antero-laterally.
(11) Mesoscutellum with punctures like those of mesoscutum but slightly
less dense and sometimes subcontiguous laterally. (12-13) Metanotum and
mesepisternum moderately finely rugose. (14) Metepistemum with sculp-
turing as in mesepisternum but slightly coarser and horizontal. (15) Propo-
deum with propodeal carina moderately weak; propodeal shield coarsely
but shallowly rugose; dorsal area coarsely and moderately deeply rugose;
lateral area with moderately coarse rugae postero-dorsally, becoming moder-
ately finely rugose antero-ventrally. (16) Wing hyaline; radial vein brown,
other veins and pterostigma pale amber. (17) Tegnla colorless and trans-
parent with opaque yellow band submarginal anteriorly, marginal basally
and posteriorly. (18-19) Fore and middle legs yellow with coxae bright
metallic green. (20) Hind leg (Fig. 155) like fore and middle legs but with
brown spot distally on dorsal surface of femur and basally on dorsal surface
of tibia; femur without tooth and basitarsus without apical groove or basal
ridge. Metasoma: (21) Terga yellow with narrow, subapical, brown
bands and with apical !4 _1 /3 transparent, pale amber; tergum 1 with anterior
surface very pale amber to yellow; tergum 7 with pygidium pale amber.
Short appressed pubescence dorsally becoming moderately long anteriorly,
posteriorly and laterally. (22) Sterna yellow with faint metallic tints basally
on sternum 1; narrow brown bands subapically on sterna 2-4; broad brown
band subapically on sternum 5; and sternum 6 largely brown, with pale
amber to yellow disto-laterally; moderately short to moderately long scat-
tered hairs on exposed areas. (23) Genitalia (Figs. 188, 203) with medium-
sized and slightly elongate ventral lobe on gonocoxite fringed with hairs
and with short hairs rather dense on posterior surface. female (Figs. 61-62)

General coloration of head and mesosoma bright metallic green to blue-
green; metasoma pale amber to black and with broad bands of white
tomentum. Head (Figs. 61-62): pubescence white, rarely tinged faintly
with pale yellow on vertex. (1) Labrum as in A. texanus. (2) Clypeus with
moderately small, scattered punctures below, becoming subcontiguous to
contiguous above. (3) Interoctilar area rugose below, becoming rugulose to
coarsely punctate above; supraclypeal area shallowly punctate to weakly
rugose. (4) Vertex contiguously and coarsely punctate to rugulose anteriorly,
becoming contiguously and less coarsely punctate laterally; area behind and
between ocelli weakly rugulose. (5) Gena with numerous moderately fine,
contiguous carinae extending postero-dorsally from antero-ventral margin.
(6) Malar area amber; very short. (7) Mandible yellow with apical %
ferruginous. (8) Antenna with scape sometimes black, but usually yellow
with brown or black on apical l / z of upper surface; pedicel brown below,
brown-black above; flagellum brown to brown-black above, pale amber to
brown below. Mesosoma: pubescence white, rarely tinged faintly with
very pale yellow on mesoscutum. (9) Pronotum as in 6 . (10) Mesoscutum
with medium-sized, moderately deep, contiguous punctures, becoming finely
rugose anteriorly and moderately rugose antero-laterally. (11) Mesoscutel-
lum with punctures like those of mesoscutum but sometimes less dense and
subcontiguous laterally. (12) Metanotum moderately finely and shallowly
rugose. (13) Mesepisternum moderately coarsely and deeply rugose. (14)
Metepisternum rugose (like mesepisternum) to horizontally carinate with
carinae anastomosing most often near posterior margin. (15) Propodeum
with strong propodeal carina; propodeal shield very faintly rugose; dorsal
area moderately to coarsely rugose; lateral area with shallow, horizontal,
anastomosing rugae, very fine to moderately fine anteriorly, becoming much
coarser and slightly deeper posteriorly. (16) Wing as in $ . (17) Tegula
as in 6 but with metallic green tints on proximal margin. (18) Fore leg
with coxa brown to brown-black, tinged with metallic green; trochanter
sometimes black, but usually pale amber with yellow on distal l / 2 of anterior
surface; femur entirely yellow to brown-black with small yellow spot dorsally
at apex; tibia yellow to brown with yellow antero-dorsally on basal %; and
tarsus yellow to brown. Pubescence white to amber. (19) Middle leg like
fore leg but dark specimens with faint metallic tints on trochanter and with
yellow area on tibia reduced to small spot dorsally at base; pubescence like
that of fore leg but faintly fuliginous on darker specimens. (20) Hind leg
with coxa bright metallic green dorsally and brown, strongly tinged with
metallic green elsewhere; trochanter brown to brown-black; femur, tibia
and tarsus pale amber to brown-black. Pubescence white to pale amber, be-
coming fuliginous basally on dorsal area of tibia of darker specimens. Metasoma: (21) Terga pale amber with small black spots laterally on
terga 3-4 to entirely black with distal margins transparent (see preceding
discussion of variation). Pubescence white, becoming pale amber around
pygidium; bands of dense tomentum on basal halves of terga 2-5, and cen-
trally on tergum 1 (often interrupted medially on tergum 1); short, ap-
pressed, inconspicuous hairs distal to bands of tomentum; moderately long
hairs anteriorly on tergum 1, ventro-laterally on terga 1-5, and dorsally on
terga 5-6. (22) Sterna pale amber to black with scattered, long, white hairs
on exposed areas.

Scientific source:

Supported by

Hosts · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Amaranthaceae  Atriplex canescens @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Apocynaceae  Asclepias @ AMNH_BEE (5)

Funastrum cynanchoides @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Asclepiadaceae  Asclepias sp @ BBSL (1); BBSL__ERRR (2)

Asclepias @ I_JSA (1)
Asteraceae  Baccharis glutinosa @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Baccharis salicifolia @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Baccharis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Baileya multiradiata @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Chrysothamnus sp @ BBSL (4)

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus @ BBSL (1)

Crepis sp @ BBSL (1)

Ericameria nauseosa @ BBSL (50)

Ericameria sp @ BBSL (1)

Flaveria campestris @ BBSL (2); BBSL__ERRR (1)

Geraea canescens @ BBSL (1)

Gutierrezia sp @ BBSL__ERRR (1); BBSL (5)

Helianthus annuus @ BBSL (29); AMNH_BEE (3)

Helianthus anomalus @ BBSL (2)

Helianthus niveus @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Helianthus sp @ BBSL (3)

Helianthus @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Viguiera sp @ BBSL (1); BBSL__ERRR (4)

Wyethia scabra @ BBSL (2)
Bignoniaceae  Chilopsis linearis @ BBSL (5)
Boraginaceae  Heliotropium curassavicum @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Brassicaceae  Lepidium sp @ BBSL (1)

Physaria newberryi @ BBSL (5)

Stanleya pinnata @ BBSL (2)
Cactaceae  Sclerocactus wrightiae @ BBSL (1)
Capparaceae  Cleome serrulata @ BBSL (8)

Cleomella obtusifolia @ BBSL (1)

Cleomella sp @ BBSL (4)

Wislizenia refracta @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Wislizenia @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Chenopodiaceae  Atriplex sp @ BBSL (3)
Cucurbitaceae  Cucumis melo @ BBSL (1)

Cucumis @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Euphorbiaceae  Croton @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Fabaceae  Astragalus sp @ BBSL (2)

Cercidium sp @ BBSL (1)

Dalea sp @ BBSL (6)

Medicago sativa @ BBSL (2)

Medicago sp @ BBSL (2)

Melilotus officinalis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Prosopis glandulosa @ BBSL (1)

Prosopis juliflora @ BBSL (2)

Prosopis sp @ BBSL__KWC (4)

Prosopis @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Psorothamnus polydenius @ BBSL (6)

Psorothamnus @ AMNH_BEE (6)
Hydrophyllaceae  Phacelia sp @ BBSL (1)
Lamiaceae  Hyptis emoryi @ BBSL (1)
Loasaceae  Cevallia sinuata @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Eucnide sp @ BBSL__ERRR (1)

Petalonyx thurberi @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Petalonyx @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Malvaceae  Gossypium sp @ BBSL (3)

Malvella leprosa @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Sphaeralcea orcuttii @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Sphaeralcea sp @ BBSL (3)
Nyctaginaceae  Allionia incarnata @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Onagraceae  Oenothera cardiophylla @ AMNH_BEE (4)

Oenothera sp @ BBSL (3)
Polygonaceae  Eriogonum deflexum @ BBSL (1)

Eriogonum nummulare @ BBSL (19)

Eriogonum sp @ BBSL (1)
Rosaceae  Amelanchier utahensis @ BBSL (1)

Fallugia paradoxa @ BBSL (2)
Solanaceae  Solanum sp @ BBSL (2)
Tamaricaceae  Tamarix chinensis @ BBSL (1)

Tamarix sp @ BBSL (16)
Zygophyllaceae  Larrea sp @ BBSL (42)

Larrea tridentata @ BBSL (41)

Larrea @ AMNH_BEE (2)
_  Asteraceae sp_( @ BBSL (8); BBSL__ERRR (3)

Withheld @ BBSL (313); BBSL__CAVE (39); BBSL__ZION (5)

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