Subject: Solitary bees of Arizona
Location: central Arizona
November 25, 2013 10:30 am
Hello and howdy do!
Here are two photos of solitary bees supping nectar from Arizona sunflowers in August of this year. I wonder if you can verify the tribes of said bees (or even specific species!) by these two photos. Thank you so much for your time.
Signature: T. Stone
Dear T. Stone,
We agree with your Longhorned Bee identification from the tribe Eucerini, but we are not certain of anything more specific. The orange antennae are distinctive, and they are also evident in this photo from BugGuide of a member of the genera Melissodes or Tetraloniella. There is a photo on BugGuide of a female member of the genus Melissodes that looks like your other photo, so we would not rule out the possibility of your photos representing a male and female of the same species. Here is another photo from BugGuide of a male member of the genus Melissodes with the orange antennae.
Eric Eaton Confirms, and cautions about Accuracy with species differentiation.
Two bees in the Apidae tribe Eucerini. I am not sure how they can be identified beyond tribe from images alone, especially since Arizona is an epicenter of global bee diversity.
Hope you had a nice holiday.