Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Melittidae

Mining Bees.

Adults medium sized to large; 9–16 mm long; very hairy; with branched or feathery hairs on the body. Solitary insects.

Head. Antennal segments (10–)12 (females), or (10–)13 (males). The terminal antennal segment truncate. Tongue shorter than the prementum; pointed. Labial palps with all the segments similar in length and subcylindrical. Mentum and submentum present.

Thorax. Pronotum more or less straight at the back; short, not extending back to the tegulae. Cenchri absent. Wings present. Fore-wings with the venation well developed. Closed fore-wing cells 6–10. Submarginal cells 2, or 3. Discoidal cells 2. The basal forewing vein (BV) straightish. Hind-wings with closed cells. Hind femur without a well defined trochantellus. Hind tibiae with spurs specialised for a cleaning rôle. Hind basitarsi wider than the other segments.

Abdomen. The abdomen with a marked basal constriction; short-waisted. The ‘waist’ simple. Visible abdominal segments 6 (females), or 7 (males). The gaster concolorous, or colour-patterned; when concolorous, black-and-white or -greyish, black-and-yellow, or black-and-brown or -reddish. Ovipositor of females not visibly protruding; modified as a retractable sting.

Larvae. Larvae legless or the legs vestigial; feeding on material manufactured by the adults (?).

British representation. Species in Britain 6; Dasypoda, Macropis, Melitta.

Classification. Suborder Apocrita; Series Aculeata; Superfamily Apoidea.

Illustrations. • Dasypoda altercator (Swammerdam's Bee: B. Ent. 367). • Dasypoda altercator (detail: B. Ent. 367). • Dasypoda altercator (dissections: B. Ent. 367). • Dasypoda altercator: B. Ent. 367, legend+text. • Dasypoda altercator: B. Ent. 367, text cont.. • Macropis labiata europaea: Saunders XXXIV). • Dasypoda, Melitta (Saunders XXXV).


To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera. Version: 16th May 2016. delta-intkey.com’.

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