This genus has four species present in Florida. One species has a complex of two subspecies that likely hybridize in the northeast of Florida. These are large bees that resemble Melissodes in aspect. They can be distinguished easily from that genus on the hairs and tergal features listed in the key to genera.
Scopal hairs all or almost all pale, plumose…2
Mesepisterna with pale pubescence on anterior faces, surfaces often completely obscured on at least lower halves; thorax without dark hairs laterally…3
Tergum 2, and usually terga 3 and 4 as well, with pale pubescence short, evenly diffused and reaching apical margin…S. petulca
Apical areas of terga without distinct punctures, if punctures present, these small and obscured by dense, diffuse, pale pubescence, ground usually dulled by dense shagreening…2
Terga 2 and 3 with pale pubescence in distinct arched bands well separated from margins, in lateral fasciae which are well separated from margins, or absent…3
Mesepisterna without mats of pale pubescence anteriorly, with short sparse pubescence which does not hide surface completely…S. obliqua
These subspecies likely hybridize in North Florida and Southwest Georgia.
Hind tibiae with pale ochraceous hairs along outer surface medially. .S. atripes georgica
Hind tibiae with entirely dark hairs..S. atripes atrimitra
Terga 3 and 4 with entire, white pubescent fasciae, that on tergum 2 narrow and widely interrupted medially. …….S. atripes georgica
Tergum 4 entirely black, 2 and 3 reduced or absent..S. atripes atrimitra
County Records: Alachua, Hernando, Leon, Madison
Locations: Brooksville, Boston, GA (Brooks Co., NW of Madison County), Bartow, Branford, Crestview, Fort Meade, LaBelle, Lacooche, Marianna, Suwanee Springs, Tallahassee, Wildwood
Dates: July 27-Oct. 2; July: 1, Aug: 1, Oct: 1
Notes: This subspecies occurs in the panhandle and down the western part of the Florida peninsula. It interbreeds with S. atripes georgica in the peninsula.
County Records: Alachua, Columbia, Duval, Highlands, Leon, Madison, Marion, Orange, Putnam
Locations:Belleville, Cocoa, Gainesville, Jacksonville Beach, Lake City, Ocala N.F., Orlando, Ortega
Dates: July 4-Aug. 29; July: 2,. Aug.: 3
Notes: This subspecies primarily occurs in the eastern half of the Florida peninsula. It interbreeds with the S. atripes atrimitra in the central and western peninsula.
County Records: Escambia, Leon, Monroe(?)
Locations: Blountstown, Key Largo?, Pensacola, Yankeetown
Dates: June 7, Aug. 18 (July-Oct from LaBerge)
Notes: The Monroe record may be a misidentification of Svastra petulca petulca or S. obliqua obliqua. The map in LaBerge shows this species as only occurring in North Florida.
County Records: Alachua, Escambia, Leon, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Santa Rosa
Locations: Everglades, Flamingo, Yankeetown
Dates: July 25-Aug. 4; July: 2, Aug.: 1
Notes: Photos of male below are of Svastra obliqua caliginosa from Georgia. This darker colored subspecies is NOT believed to occur in Florida.
County Records: Miami-Dade, Monroe
Locations: Tahiti Beach, Miami, Coral Gables, Key Largo
Notes: Although it occurs in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the North, in Florida, this species is only known from SE Florida.