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Species Epeolus scutellaris - Notch-backed Cellophane-cuckoo

Small Wasp? - Epeolus scutellaris Epeolus scutellaris? - Epeolus scutellaris - female Epeolus scutellaris? - Epeolus scutellaris - female Epeolus scutellaris? - Epeolus scutellaris - female unknown cuckoo bee - Epeolus scutellaris 3rd halictid: striped abdomen, orange legs - Epeolus scutellaris - male Nomadinae, Notch-backed Cellophane-cuckoo, dorsal - Epeolus scutellaris - male notch-backed cellophane- cuckoo bee - Epeolus scutellaris - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees)
Family Apidae (Cuckoo, Carpenter, Digger, Bumble, and Honey Bees)
Subfamily Nomadinae (Cuckoo Bees)
Tribe Epeolini
Genus Epeolus (Cellophane-cuckoos)
Species scutellaris (Notch-backed Cellophane-cuckoo)
Other Common Names
Shield-backed epeolus
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Epeolus vernoniae, Triepeolus scutellaris
Female 9-10 mm. Male 7 to 9 mm.
. . . shape of pygidial plate is diagnostic of Epeolus.

Head: Black with yellowish hair around antenna bases in female; across mid-face in male. Cheeks narrow, about half as wide as eye width; males only ¼ as wide as eye width. Mandibles reddish on female; all black on male.

Antenna: Base (scape) reddish to yellowish-brown. First 3 segments reddish on female. Rest dark brown-black. All dark brown-black on male.

Thorax: Rough with yellowish-white hair. Collar stripe uninterrupted. Segment 1 (scutum) has two stripes, one each side of mid line. Segment 2 (scutellum) has deep groove down center; brown in male, side points (axillae) reddish-brown; segment entirely red in female. Axillae are large and project past end of scutellum. Thorax sides rough, tubercles reddish-brown, surrounded with yellowish-white fringe. Bands of yellowish-white hair under wing base and transverse band across center of thorax side; lower half bare. Underside of thorax densely hairy.

Wings: Wing knob (tegulae) reddish-brown. Wings lightly tinted, becoming slightly darker at tips. Veins brownish. Stigma amber.

Legs: Legs reddish-brown. Male has underside of mid and hind thigh (femora) dark. Feet reddish. Spurs dark.

Abdomen: Black with pale yellow stripes resting on lower segment edge.
Segment 1 has two stripes which are slightly or not joined at side edges. Lower stripe has a very narrow interrupt at center.
Segment 2 stripe also slightly interrupted at center; entire in male.
Segments 3 to 5 have uninterrupted stripes.
Segment 5 stripe quite wide and indented at center on lower margin.
Tip is twice as wide as long with a bright white crescent in female.
Male tip rounded, black or orange.
Underside shiny, no pile. Segments 2 and 3 have white stripes.
Minnesota to Nova Scotia, south to Texas and North Carolina.
Forest edges and meadows.
June (in Texas) to September
FLOWER RECORDS—Baccharis, Bidens and Solidago. The Hosts section on its Discover Life species page lists known associations based on specimen records and images.
Life Cycle
Host is Colletes simulans armatus per Ascher.
The female finds Plasterer bee nests, enters and lays an egg. When larva hatch, it kills the Plasterer bee egg, and feeds on the stored pollen, nectar.
“During rainy or windy weather, this insect secures itself to the edge of a leaf or to the small branch of a bush, by its mandibles, retracts the feet to the body, and projects the antennae forwards.” Thomas Say, 1824.

Holotype female as Epeolus scutellaris by Thomas Say, 1824. Locality: Carolina and Mexico. In British Museum of Natural History.
Specimen only in Smithsonian. No photos.
Print References
The Complete Writings of Thomas Say on the Entomology of North America, 1824, Vol. 1, edited by LeConte in 1859, pp. 240 to 241 female.
Catalog of Hymenoptera in British Museum, 1854, Pt. 2, pg. 257 – male and female.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia, 1863-64, Vol. 2, pg. 397 by Cresson, female.
Psyche, 1905, Vol. 12, pg. 42 by Lovell and Cockerell.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1905, Vol. 31, pg. 314 by Cockerell.
The Entomologist, 1907, Vol. 40, pp. 136 to 137 by Cockerell Epeolus vernoniae, male.
North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin, 1962 #152. Bees of the Eastern United States by Mitchell.
Journal Entomological Society Ontario, 2004, Vol. 135, pp. 88 to 89. Keys by Romankova.
The Canadian Entomologist, 2006, Vol. 138: Changes in the bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of an old field site in southern Ontario, revisited after 34 years; Table #1, pg. 156 by Grixti & Packer. Epeolus scutellaris found: 2 in 1968 and 2 in 1969; re-study 2 in 2002 and 8 in 2003.
*Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis, 1894-97, Vol. 7, pp. 343 to 335, by Robertson Re: male and female by Lovell & Cockerell (see below). [Misidentified really E. zonatus Florida species]
Internet References