Extracted from: Ordway E. (1966). Systematics of the Genus Augochlorella (Hymenoptera, Halictidae) North of Merxico. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin Vol. XLVI, pp. 509-624, No. 16|
Description. Female: (1) Length 5 to 6 mm; head width 1.44 to 1.91 mm, averaging 1.69 mm; head width greater than length. (2) Color bright green to yellow- or coppery-green; frons without bluish reflections; metasoma usually more golden, coppery or brownish than head and thorax. (3) Mandible with basal third dark brown, yellow-brown centrally, rufous at tip, without green basal reflections. (4) Clypeallength equal to width or slightly longer; basal part green with punctures variable in size, smallest and closest near basal angles, becoming larger apically and separated by about twice their diameters or more; apical third to two-thirds of clypeus brown and slightly beveled, with elongate punctures becoming shallow and indistinct at apex, giving apex roughened appearance; surface between punctures smooth and shiny. (5) Supraclypeal area with surface weakly roughened,punctures small just below antennae and along subantennal sutures, sometimes with few scattered punctures centrally. (6) Paraocular area usually closely punctate below antenna, finely rugose above antenna. (7) Antenna brown, flagellum lighter below than above; first flagellar segment wider than long; pedicel slightly longer and narrower than first flagellar segment, ratio of length to width variable. (8) Scutum coarsely and irregularly punctured, punctures close, usually with little or no space between them, rarely separated by as much as a puncture width centrally, becoming closer and coarser laterally; surface between punctures, when present, smooth and shiny centrally; anterior margin roughened with surface finely lineolate and dull medially, becoming rugose laterally and at anterolateral angles. (9) Tegula twice as long as wide. (10) Scutellum shiny and roughened, irregularly punctate or rugose. (11) Pleuron irregularly rugose, becoming coarsely areolate anteriorly. (12) Propodeum with disc slightly longer than to a little more than 1.5 times as long as metanotum; outline of disc roundly semicircular, profile type 2, posterior edge indistinct and gradually rounded; striae variable, usually irregular, branched, vermiform, occupying 60 to 80 percent the length of disc medially, reaching edge laterally; surface beyond striae smooth but minutely lineate or finely roughened; posterior vertical surface shiny and smooth with sparsely scattered minute punctures, or surface finely granular with granular texture extending across upper part of posterolaterat'corner to lateral surface; lateral vertical surface weakly rugose or coarsely roughened with widely separated or reticulated rugae. (13) Legs brown; fore and hind coxae strongly metallic; trochanters and femora with feeble metallic reflections. (14) First metasomal tergum with anterior surface brilliantly polished with a few widely spaced fine punctures; punctures more numerous and surface less brilliant dorsally; second tergum with numerous fine punctures separated by about twice their diameters; surface usually dull; first sternum sometimes darker than others, often greenish but not metallic. (15) Pubescence golden-white dorsally on head, thorax, apical segments of legs, and on dorsal and last two ventral metasomal segments; white ventrally on head and thorax; white or golden on basal segments of legs and ventral part of metasoma.
Male: (1) Length 7 mm; head width 1.45 to 1.80 mm, averaging 1.66 mm; head width equal to, greater than or less than length with no regional or seasonal pattern. (2) Color yellow-green to coppery-green; frons without blue reflections; metasoma usually more golden or reddish than rest of body.
(3) Mandible with or without metallic reflections basally. (4) Clypeal surface shiny between rather large punctures; punctures irregular in size, shape and spacing, smallest along basal edge. (5) Supraclypeal area with small scattered punctures; surface between punctures minutely roughened, dull; rougher immediately below antennae than just above clypeus, or shiny and smooth. (6) Paraocular area finely and closely punctate to rugosopunctate. (7) Flagellum dark brown above, yellow below; scape entirely dark brown except for small apical yellow area on underside; pedicel dark brown and yellow; last flagellar segment rarely darker below than preceding segments, but if so, then only partially dark apically; pedicel and first flagellar segment about 1.5 times as wide as long. (8) Scutum shiny with punctures distinct, separated by less than their own diameters medially, slightly closer laterally, smaller and closer posteriorly; anterior margin roughened to finely rugose medially to rugose laterally. (9) Tegula more than 1.5 times as long as wide. (10) Scutellum shiny, coarsely punctate, punctures distinct but irregular in size and spacing. (11) Pleuron rugose to rugosopunctate, coarsely areolate anteriorly. (12) Disc of propodeum longer than metanotum; outline of disc semicircular, posterior edge prominent, abruptly rounded medially, gradually rounded laterally; striae variable, usually moderately coarse, irregular or wavy, not quite reaching edge medially, attaining edge laterally; surface of disc beyond median striae coarsely roughened to smooth and shiny with minute reticulations; posterior vertical surface usually smooth and brilliant, or only weakly and irregularly roughened, upper part of posterolateral corners minutely punctate to weakly roughened; lateral vertical surfaces roughened to rugose or finely areolate with weak horizontal rugae along anterior and ventral margins. (13) Legs with fore and hind coxae, trochanters and femora bright green, tibiae yellow-brown, usually darker centrally, hind tibia sometimes weakly reflecting green on inner surface; tarsi pale yellow; hind basitarsus with erect hairs along apical two-thirds of segment only, longer basally than apically; longest hairs about twice as long as width of segment, usually slightly curved at tips; basal third of segment without erect hairs; basal tuft short and sparse. (14) Metasomal terga green with apical margins usually narrowly brown; first tergum polished anteriorly with few, widely scattered fine punctures, smooth but less shiny dorsally, punctures denser, minute, separated by 1.5 times their diameters or less; sterna brown, first sternum with green reflections; fourth sternum emarginate apically. (15) Pubescence short, thick and white between antennae and on paraocular areas, white on cheeks, venter of thorax and basal segments of legs; white to golden-white on clypeus, frons and vertex, dorsum of thorax, on tibiae and tarsi and metasoma. (16) Genital capsule, seventh and eighth sterna and eighth tergum of type 1 (Figs. 33, 40, 43).
Comparisons. Although the range of persimilis overlaps that of four other species of Augochlorella, females intergrade only with form c of striata. There is no sure way of separating females of the two species where intermediates occur although the key will distinguish a majority. Males of the two species remain distinct and are readily distinguishable by the key
Both males and females of persimilis may superficially resemble bracteata in size, coloration and often in characters of the propodeal disc. There is however, only slight overlap in ranges and the consistantly rougher thorax of persimilis effectively serves to distinguish the two species.
Apart from bracteata and striata c, persimilis can be distinguished froIl?- the eastern species by its generally smaller size, smoother body and propodeal disc with rounded posterior edge and short medial striae. The males are distinguishable by the long hind basitarsal hairs (Fig. 50) although in Texas two male specimens of gratiosa were found that looked very similar to those of persimilis (see variation under gratiosa). The fourth metasomal sternum of the males is about as emarginate as that of gratiosa, so that any distinction is difficult to make, especially when the segments are telescoped.
Variation. Body color varies in persimilis from blue-green to golden or coppery-yellow. The metasoma is usually lighter in color than the head and thorax (it may be browner or yellower). The males are predominantly yellowish green throughout the range except in Arkansas, Virginia and Georgia where all individuals seen are coppery in color. In Kansas, where a large sample was available, 85% of the females are bright green, 14% yellow- green or coppery and 1% blue-green. More than half the specimens are yellow-green or coppery-green in Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota and Virginia, but populations are predominantly bright green in Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin. About half the specimens are bright green in Louisiana and Oklahoma.
In both males and females, the width of the head varies widely within anyone area. When measurements were pooled for each sex, however, normal distributions were obtained with only a slightly skewed distribution in the case of males. The head width may be greater than, equal to or less than the length in the case of the males with only slight differences between width and length. In females the width is consistently greater than the length. Little difference in size was found between populations from different areas. In females, the average head width of field caught bees is greater during the spring (March, April, May) (Fig. 89) than during other months; at least throughout much of the range only queens are present in spring. During the rest of the season, both queens and workers are present. (See Ordway, 1965a, for discussion of size and caste data.)
The length of the clypeus in females is about equal to the width giving the face a round appearance, especially in smaller individuals. The spacing and number of punctures on the clypeus are variable among individuals. Also, the extent of the brown color on the apical portion varies from about one-third to one-half the length. No regional trends were observed for either character.
The supraclypeal area is always roughened in females and at least partially so in males. The amount of punctation in this area is variable as is the degree of roughness. The paraocular areas are usually punctate near the lower ends of the eyes and finely rugose elsewhere. However, in about one percent of the females from throughout the range the roughness extends to the bases of the mandibles.
The antennae of some males have the last flagellar segment slightly darker below than the preceding segments but the segment is only partially dark and the darkening is slight.
The punctures of the scutum in females are rather constant in size but vary in respect to their spacing. The punctures are always distinct centrally but are closer toward the edges and the scutum may become rugose laterally and anteriorly. The amount of space between the central punctures varies; usually the punctures are close together with little space between, giving the surface a rather rough appearance. The surface looks smoother when the punctures are more widely spaced as in many of the specimens from Arkansas and a few from Virginia. The anteromedial surface is finely lineolate or roughened. This roughening extends for varying distances along the median suture but is always evident at least at the anterior end of the suture. There is little variability in scuta of males.
The scutellum in males and many females has punctures of various sizes and unequal spacing. In the females the scutellum may have distinct punctures or the punctures may run together or the surface may be entirely rugose, with all conditions occurring in populations throughout the range. When the punctures are distinct in females, they are closer and smaller at the edges, becoming rugose along the posterior margin and along the medial line, usually being shallower and smaller than those on the scutum. In males the punctures may vary from widely spaced to crowded.
There is little variation in the pleural region. Although the sculpturing of the mesepisternum and metepisternum is about equally coarse, the rugose patterns of the two areas are different.
As in other eastern species the propodeal area is highly variable, yet in females, it remains the most diagnostic character available. The disc is longer than the metanotum in both sexes. Only 1 male out of about 50 measured was found with disc and metanotum equal in length [Illinois, 566, Hart ColI. (14*)]. In males the metanotum showed greater variation in length than the propodeum; in females, both structures varied in length.
The shape of the margin of the disc and the lack of a V-shaped midapical depression is unvarying in all males. In 2 males out of about 300 examined, the usually thick posterior margin was thin, abruptly angulate and almost carinate [Indiana, Warren Co., VII-25-50 (16); Missouri, Tecumseh, VI-9-60 (25)]. In females the shape of the margin varies little and there is no V-shaped depression. Although the smooth, lineate, posterior part of the disc does extend onto the posterior surface in the shape of a V, there is no median depression as is found in gratiosa or some striata. The posterior edge in females usually is thickened as in males, but may be very narrow, flat or in certain cases completely rounded so that there is no clear demarkation of the margin [Illinois, 16966 (14); Nebraska, Nebraska City, VIII-23-01 (28)]. The striae are extremely variable in both sexes although more so in females. Variation in males is limited chiefly to the thickness of the striae and to the amount of their separation. The striae in both males and females may be regular and straight or, more usually, at least partially wavy, branched or irregular. All grades of irregularity occur in the striae of females, but rarely are the striae straight and distinct in the central area, and in no case was a specimen found in which the striae were both thick and straight, and widely spaced as in the large striata C or Floridian striata A. Although the striae rarely exceed 80010 of the length of the disc centrally, specimens may be found where they reach into the lineate region medially [Texas (38); Kansas, Douglas Co. (20) etc.]. The lateral striae are nearly always rather straight and distinct in both males and females. Various types of "extreme" conditions appear periodically in females of various populations. It is not feasible to cite them all, but they include forms without striae and with only fine roughening along the basal half of the disc [Kansas, Lawrence, VIII-3-58 (20); Wisconsin, Oshkosh, VIII-7-16 (47)], or with fine rugae running transversely and joining with lateral striae [Kansas, Douglas Co., IX-5-53 (28); Missouri, Buffalo, VI-8-52 (20)] or with striae so irregular that there is no linear quality at all [Illinois, Algonquin, VI-4-09 (14); Missouri, Big Spring St. Pk. (20) etc.]. The posterior surface of the propodeum of females may be shiny and smooth or slightly less brilliant and granular in nature. No specimen was seen with rugae on this area. Specimens from the east (Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia) are predominantly shiny and smooth; in other areas both conditions occur in about equal proportions. Three specimens were found in which the propodeal area was somewhat misshapen with the result that the posterior surface was "wrinkled looking," shiny and without the usual minute punctures [Arkansas, Jonesboro, VI-29- 52 (20); Wisconsin, Oshkosh, VIII-7-16 (47); Nebraska, Nebraska City, VIII-23-01 (28)]. In males the posterior surface is usually very shiny and only slightly but variously roughened. This roughening may be in the form of shallow punctures which mayor may not be distinct or may be merely unevenness of the surface. Two specimens, however, were found with very rough and somewhat duller posterior surfaces [Illinois, 32408 (14); Illinois,
Willow Spr., VIII-12-05 (14)].
There is little variation in coloration of the legs in either males or females except for the intensity of green. This coloration seems to be correlated with the darkness of body coloration, the paler (yellower) individuals having less strongly green legs. Such variation occurs throughout the range. The length of the hairs on the hind basitarsus of the male is rather constant. Only one male was found where the long hairs were as short as one-half the width of the basitarsal segment and in this case they originated close to the basal tuft with somewhat less space separating the tuft and the hairs than is nor- mal [Arkansas, Malvern, VI-IS-58 (2S)].
The metasoma shows the usual color variation of other body regions. The first sternum of the male is variously tinted with green. Some specimens have the metallic nature barely visible [Louisiana, 2392 (9); several Minnesota specimens, etc.] whereas others are bright green or intermediate. In females the first sternum is not green although it may vary from light brown to dark brown and may be shiny and greenish but never metallic.
One male was found in which the second tergum is granulose and similar to the third rather than punctate as is the first [Missouri, Buffalo, VI-8-S2 (20)]. The third tergum is frequently punctate like the first in females. In females the second tergum may be similar either to the first or third or even occasionally intermediate [Indiana, Tippecanoe Co., VI-16-S3 (16)]. Again,
this variation appears to be individual rather than regional in nature.
The color of pubescence in females varies regionally to a slight extent. In the eastern states (Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana) the ventral part of the metasoma and basal segments of the legs have golden rather than white hair. In the midwest (Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas) most specimens are paler below with the hairs on the basal leg segments white and on the venter white or golden-white, although, in Iowa, Indiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas, individuals are variable so that all combinations can be found. One male was found that had all white pubescence [Illinois, "Air-port Region" Peoria, VII-20-41 (14)].
On the male genital capsule, the inner lobe is variable and usually similar
to that of striata. There is a tendency for the rounded portion to slope off sooner at each side of the apex, whereas in striata it is more broadly rounded. The finger-like process is variable in length although it is rarely as long as in gratiosa or striata.
Distribution. From the eastern Appalachian Mountains, Maryland to Georgia, westward to about the 97th parallel, from southeastern Minnesota and Wisconsin southward to northeastern Texas and Arkansas (Map: Fig. 90). Detailed data are omitted for areas where there are numerous localities
(see Methods), but Figure 90 shows all localities.