Tribe Perditini Robertson

Genus Perdita Smith, twenty taxa

    These are all small bees, with distinctive wing venation patterns. They usually have brightly colored bodies with colored integumental markings. The genus is associated with xerophytic vegetation and found mostly in the coastal plain areas of the southeastern United States. Florida and North Carolina are the states with the greatest number of known species. Bees of this genus nest in the soil. Nesting sites are primarily in well-drained sandy soils that are abundant in these states. Michener notes that species are nearly all oligolectic on a wide variety of plants. In the FSCA, there are 16 taxa of Perdita, while Mitchell lists 4 others as occurring in Florida. Of these 20 taxa, there are five endemic taxa, including four species (P. krombeini, P. graenicheri, P. blatchleyi, and P. nubila) and one subspecies (P. consobrina lepida). New state records for Florida since Mitchell (1960) include P. consobrina consobrina (furthest south was S. Carolina) and P. octomaculata (furthest south was Georgia). Mitchell’s key to the species of the eastern U.S. may be sufficient for identification. With the exception of P. townesi, which was described in Timberlake (19xx). Several subgenera are found in Florida including Alloperdita, Cockerellia, Hexaperdita, and Perdita.

Key to subgenera. Modified from Michener (2001) which was modified from Timberlake (1954)

1. Scopa of hind tibia copious, hairs long, often more or less crinkly or branched, seemingly adapted for carrying pollen at least partly dry; claws of female simple; side of pronotum of male more ore less deeply furrowed; S8 of male with bilobate base…………..2

perbeqfemscopa2.JPG (56161 bytes) perbeqfemclaw.JPG (59145 bytes) perbishfemscopa2.JPG (52726 bytes) perblafemscopa2.JPG (53503 bytes) perbolchrfemlegs.JPG (55546 bytes) pergeofemscopa.JPG (47420 bytes) pernubfemscopa2.JPG (42533 bytes) perbismalepronotumsideclose.JPG (65661 bytes) perblamalepronotumside.JPG (55408 bytes) perbolchrmalepronotumside.JPG (53066 bytes) pernubmalepronotumside.JPG (44195 bytes)

--Scopa of hind tibia composed of long, curved, simple, widely spaced hairs, seemingly adapted for carrying agglutinated pollen; claws of female more or less distinctly dentate within; side of pronotum of male usually not grooved; s8 of male with simple, medium spiculum at base…3

perconconfemscopa.JPG (45837 bytes) peroctfemscopa3.JPG (41554 bytes) perbrafemscopa.JPG (40790 bytes) perflofemscopa2.JPG (46444 bytes) permitfempollenload.JPG (44111 bytes) perobsfemscopa.JPG (42643 bytes)

pertowmalemesepisternumside.JPG (55283 bytes) perobsmalemesepisternumside.JPG (57119 bytes) perbramalepronotumside.JPG (58866 bytes) perhalmalescutum.JPG (60281 bytes)


2. Usually large species, 5 to 9 mm long; mandible of female dilated on inner margin and abruptly bent inward before apex, incurved part tapering and simple; metasoma of male no wider than thorax; claws of male hind leg simple…………………………..Cockerellia

perbeqfemtop.JPG (43907 bytes) perbeqfemmandible.JPG (56087 bytes)


--Smaller species, rarely exceeding 6 mm in length; mandible of female ordinary or only moderately expanded within, and but little incurved at apex; metasoma of male usually moderately broad and depressed; claws of male hind leg cleft…….Hexaperdita

perbishfemtop.JPG (52312 bytes) pergeofemface.JPG (50235 bytes) perbolchrfemface3.JPG (58642 bytes)  

3. Small intercalary cell usually present between first and second submarginal cells; mandible of male with small subapical tooth on inner margin…………..Alloperdita

perflofemwing.JPG (39934 bytes) permitfemwing2.JPG (36836 bytes) perobsfemwingclose.JPG (36376 bytes) pertowmalewing.JPG (38846 bytes) pertowmalelabrum.JPG (43745 bytes) perobsmalemandible.JPG (50105 bytes) perflomalemandible.JPG (48923 bytes) perbramaleface2.JPG (44670 bytes)

--Intercalary cell never present; mandible of male usually simple and acute at apex…Perdita

perconconfemwing.JPG (47426 bytes) peroctfemwing.JPG (44364 bytes) perconconmalelabrum.JPG (42177 bytes) perhalmaleclypeus.JPG (37746 bytes)