Reprinted with permission from: Mitchell, T.B. 1960 Bees of the Eastern United States. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin No. 141. |
FEMALE—Length 5.5 mm.; entire body brilliant green, more or less suffused with coppery or red; mandibles dark, with a small, inner, subapical tooth; clypeus above shining, punctures deep and distinct, rather sparse medially, becoming finer and closer laterally, apical half blackened, where punctures are much more coarse and rather close; supraclypeal area shining, punctures minute and rather sparse; face above antennae densely rugosopunctate and rather dull; cheeks somewhat shining below, microscopically lineolate or tessellate, becoming somewhat more dull and densely tessellate above; pubescence of head and thorax pale yellowish above, very short, becoming whitish below; scutum somewhat shining medially, punctures uniformly fine and very close throughout, except that the lateral, anterior angles become densely rugose; scutellum quite flat, minutely and closely punctate, slightly shining; pleura anteriorly reticulate, otherwise quite densely and rather finely rugose; dorsal area of propodeum considerably broader than metanotum, rather coarsely and uniformly striate, posterior margin somewhat rounded and smooth (in contrast with striata where the posterior margin is subcarinate), lateral faces rather dull, obscurely reticulate anteriorly becoming more tessellate posteriorly and posterior face tessellate; coxae, trochanters and femora largely greenish, tibiae more piceous, tarsi becoming brownish-testaceous apically; tegulae largely yellowish-hyaline, becoming somewhat more brownish-testaceous posteriorly; wings hyaline, veins and stigma pale testaceous; abdominal terga somewhat shining, punctures exceedingly minute and close, almost tessellate even on basal tergum, apical margins only slightly impressed, puncturation not greatly different from that of discs, pubescence very short but rather copious, entirely pale.
MALE—Length 5 mm.; entire body brilliant green, becoming in some specimens almost entirely coppery red; mandibles and labrum dull testaceous to yellowish; clypeus shining, punctures rather coarse and close, apical margin narrowly yellowish; supraclypeal area somewhat shining below, finely and rather closely punctate above; face above antennae rather dull, densely and very finely rugoso-punctate; cheeks below shining, with a few scattered, exceedingly minute punctures, becoming more dull and finely tessellate or lineolate above; scape black, flagellum brownish-ferruginous beneath, piceous above, the two basal segments very short, 3rd about as long as broad, the following segments successively more elongate, becoming about 2.5 times longer than broad; pubescence of head and thorax short, entirely pale, somewhat tinged with ochraceous above, whitish below; scutum shining, punctures rather well separated medially, very fine but distinct, becoming close, almost crowded laterally, and densely rugose in area of lateral apical angles; scutellum less shining, punctures much more close, minute anteriorly, becoming coarser and closer posteriorly; pleura coarsely rugose anteriorly, otherwise with densely crowded but rather distinct and coarse punctures, those just beneath wing bases very fine, dorsal area of propodeum slightly broader than metanotum, closely and quite distinctly striate, but posterior margin somewhat smooth and rounded, lateral faces dull, finely and irregularly roughened, posterior face irregularly roughened or in part punctate; tegulae yellowish anteriorly, becoming more testaceous posteriorly; wings hyaline, veins and stigma testaceous; coxae, trochanters and femora green, mid and hind tibiae somewhat tinged with green, but otherwise testaceous, front tibiae and all tarsi yellowish-testaceous; apical half of hind basitarsi with elongate hairs, the basal half with short hairs; abdominal terga somewhat shining, basal tergum with minute but rather deep and distinct, very close punctures, those on 2 somewhat more close and obscure, 3 and 4 becoming more tessellate, apical margins rather broadly but shallowly impressed apically, rims faintly blackened, pubescence rather short but copious, entirely pale; apical margin of sternum 4 broadly incurved; gonostyli extremely short, composed of a very short, truncate, outer lobe and a broad, rounded, inner lobe which bears a marginal fringe of setae; cuspis small, the digitus of volsellae broadly rounded; dorsal excavation of penis valves more restricted, with a distinct subcarinate posterior margin, tips considerably exceeding the gonostyli.
DISTRIBUTION—Northern Mexico to Colorado, Minnesota and the New England states, south to Florida; May to October.
FLOWER RECORDS—Agastache, Althaea, Apocynum, Asclepias, Barbarea, Ceanothus, Cotoneaster, Lotus, Malva, Melilotus, Monarda, Rhus, Salvia, Solidago, Taraxacum and Trifolium. Robertson (1929) records aurata (as Oxystoglossa similis) on the following additional genera: Alisma, Ammannia, Amorpha, Antennaria, Anthemis, Arabis, Asclepias, Asparagus, Aster, Blephilia, Brauneria, Camassia, Capsella, Cardamine, Cassia, Cerastium, Chrysanthemum, Claytonia, Coreopsis, Cornus, Crataegus, Cuphea, Dianthera, Diospyros, Erigeron, Eupatorium, Fragaria, Geranium, Geum, Gnaphalium, Hedeoma, Helianthus, Heuchera, Houstonia, Hypoxis, Krigia, Lepidium, Lespedeza, Lippia, Ludwigia, Lycopus, Nothoscordum, Parthenium, Petalostemon, Plantego, Polemonium, Polytaenia, Potentilla, Prunus, Pycnanthemum, Radicula, Ranunculus, Rubus, Rudbeckia, Sabatia, Sagittaria, Salix, Senecio, Sisymbrium, Sisyrinchium, Smilacina, Smilax, Specularia, Stellaria, Symphoricarpus, Taenidia, Thaspium, Tradescantia, Valerianella, Verbena, Verbesina, Veronica and Zizia.
There is still some question concerning the true identity of Halictus xystris Vachal. The type series has been examined by Padre S. Moure and some notes on the lectotype received from him indicate the probability that it lies within the range of variation of aurata.
Extracted from: Ordway E. (1966). Systematics of the Genus Augochlorella (Hymenoptera, Halictidae) North of Merxico. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin Vol. XLVI, pp. 509-624, No. 16
Description. Female: (1) Body length 7 mm; head width 158 to 1.98 mm, averaging 1.84 mm, width to length ratio variable. (2) Color yellow-green to blue-green; frons without bluish reflections on green specimens, metasoma similar in color to other body regions. (3) Mandible with basal third dark brown, yellow-brown centrally, rufous at tip, rarely with metallic reflection at base. (4) Clypeal width subequal to length; basal part green with large, irregularly spaced punctures; apical fifth or less, brown, brown area not exceeding one-third, slightly beveled; punctures in brown area round, or slightly elongate when brown area exceeds diameter of puncture; surface between punctures usually shiny and smooth. (5) Supraclypeal area variably punctate, surface between punctures shiny and smooth or finely roughened. (6) Paraocular area punctorugose to rugose below antenna, more coarsely rugose above. (7) Antenna dark brown, often slightly lighter below than above; pedicel with length subequal to width, first flagellar segment wider than long. (8) Scutum coarsely punctate; punctures close to contiguous over entire dorsum, similar to frons; anterior margin and anterolateral corners finely rugose to finely areolate. (9) Tegula almost twice as long as wide. (10) Scutellum roughened or shallowly and irregularly punctate. (11) Pleuron finely rugose, becoming areolate anteriorly. (12) Propodeum with disc equal to or slightly longer than metanotum; outline of disc bracket-shaped to semicircular, usually weakly bracket-shaped, forming blunt point medially, profile type 2; posterior edge of disc distinct, abruptly rounded to sharp, gradually rounded laterally; striae fine, close, wavy, usually irregular, ending just before edge or at edge medially, often leaving edge slightly raised, roughened and dull, reaching or crossing edge laterally; posterior vertical surface evenly and finely granular, not rough; posterolateral corners not prominent, usually slightly more roughened than posterior surface; lateral vertical surface weakly rugose. (13) Legs brown, fore and hind coxae, mid and hind trochanters and femora with metallic reflections. (14) First metasomal tergum with anterior surface shiny but not polished, with numerous widely spaced punctures; dorsal punctures minute and close, or large, close and distinct (Texas); first sternum without metallic reflections. (15) Pubescence golden-white on dorsum and legs and ventrally on metasoma; white ventrally on head and thorax; pubescence short and thick but not dense on genal area.
Male: (1) Length 7 mm; head width 1.81 to 1.91 mm, averaging 1.86 mm, width to length ratio variable. (2) Color bright green; often with bluish reflections on frons; metasoma often slightly redder or browner above than on other parts of body. (3) Mandible with dark metallic reflections basally. (4) Clypeus with punctures variable in size and spacing; surface between punctures shiny and smooth. (5) Supraclypeal area variably punctured with surface smooth and shiny or irregularly roughened. (6) Paraocular area finely punctorugose. (7) Flagellum dark brown above, yellowish brown below; scape dark brown; pedicel partially light brown above, dark brown below; last flagellar segment entirely dark brown; pedicel and first flagellar segment each about 1.5 times wider than long. (8) Scutum with punctures distinct but crowded medially, separated by less than their diameters, becoming contiguous at parapsidal lines; anterior margin rugose, becoming areolate laterally. (9) Tegula twice as long as wide. (10) Scutellum shiny, punctate to punctorugose. (11) Pleuron rugose, becoming areolate anteriorly. (12) Propodeum with disc equal to or slightly longer than metanotum; outline of disc weakly bracket-shaped to obtusely V-shaped, posterior edge abruptly rounded; striae fine, wavy and irregular, reaching edge posteriorly, crossing edge laterally; posterior vertical surface and posterolateral corners finely rugose or roughened; lateral vertical surface rugose. (13) Legs brown, with fore and hind coxae, trochanters and femora reflecting green; tibiae reflecting green medially, testaceous at extremities; tarsi testaceous; hind basitarsus with erect hairs uniform in length, up to 1.5 times as long as width of segment, variable among individuals, pale yellow in color; basal tuft distinct. (14) Metasomal terga green; first tergum polished, with widely scattered fine punctures anteriorly, smooth but less shiny dorsally, punctures small and close; sterna brown, pubescence short, fine over entire sterna; first sternum with weak metallic reflections, fourth sternum shallowly emarginate. (15) Pubescence white on head, white to golden dorsally on thorax, golden on metasoma and legs. (16) Genital cap- sule, seventh and eighth sterna and eighth tergum all of type 1 (similar to Figs. 32, 40, 43).
Comparisons. Very few specimens of aurata have been collected outside of Florida and Texas although nine specimens are available from Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. The females are most similar in appearance to those of gratiosa and the males to those of striata, the range of variation in Florida overlapping those of both striata A and gratiosa.
The females can usually be distinguished from gratiosa by the slightly longer propodeal disc, the flatter bracket-shape (Figs. 57, 58) and less acutely angulate posterior edge of the disc and the smoother posterior vertical surface of the propodeum. In Texas they can be additionally distinguished by the deep, crowded, distinct punctures on the first and second metasomal terga (Figs. 82, 83). They can be distinguished from striata A in North Carolina and Georgia by the flatter bracket-shaped disc with a less acutely angulate posterior edge and the finer, more irregular striae, and in Florida usually by finer more irregular striae and the less rugose sculpturing on the thorax. There are no striata females in the south with which this species could be confused.
The males are similar to striata with short basitarsal hairs of more or less uniform length, shallowly emarginate fourth metasomal sternum and dark tipped antennal flagellum. The range of variation is not known since only five males from Georgia have been positively identified and these were similar to one another. Ten males from Florida are also tentatively included. These look very similar to variants of striata. The males from Georgia differ from all striata males in the flatter, more finely striate, propodeal disc. The difference in scutal punctures will also separate what are believed to be Floridian aurata from Floridian striata.
Variation. There is comparatively little variation in size although particularly large or small individuals may occasionally be found in Florida. The color, usually a yellow-green to bright green, is often blue-green in Floridian specimens although yellow-green individuals may also be found.
The clypeus is apically brown, usually for one-sixth to one-fourth its length in females, but is one-third brown in some specimens from Florida and one-half brown in some specimens from Georgia. The face looks long(Fig. 52) in all Texan and some Floridian specimens but round in the rest (Fig. 53).
The propodeal disc of the female is usually slightly longer than the meta- noturn, or it may be equal to the metanotum but is not shorter. The disc is nearly always at least weakly bracket-shaped and bluntly pointed medially (Fig. 57). The edge is usually abruptly rounded and distinct although it may be either sharply angulate or rounded and indistinct in some specimens from Texas and Florida. There is more variability among Floridian specimens in this character than elsewhere in the range; the four specimens from Georgia are all similar to Figure 57. The striae are rarely as straight and well defined as in gratiosa (except for a few from Florida) but are very fine, irregular or vermiform, with no definite spaces between them. The posterior edge is usually minutely roughened when rounded and the striae end grad- ually in this roughened area. The most striking variation occurs in the metasomal punctures of specimens from Texas. Throughout the rest of the range the punctures are small, close, shallow, and almost inconspicuous as in gratiosa (Fig. 83). In Texas, the punctures, although also close, are slightly larger, much deeper, and more conspicuous (Fig. 82), giving the tergum a coarse or roughened appearance.
Males have been seen only from Georgia and Florida. Those from Georgia have the disc resembling that of the females, widely bracket-shaped, with fine irregular striae ending in a minutely roughened area at the edge. None of the presumed aurata males from Florida have discs similar to this or to that of the females. The shape of the disc in Florida varies from weakly bracket-shaped and narrow to long and roundly V-shaped. The striae are usually rather thin and close, and the posterior edge is usually abruptly rounded; the posterior surface may be weakly roughened as in the Georgian specimens or rugose as in many male striata. These specimens are all different from one another, resembling males of striata s but are unlike the striata A from Florida. There is considerable variation in the characters of the disc of females in Florida; perhaps the variability is as great in males. Due to the uncertainty in identification of the Floridian males, the above description of the male is based solely on the specimens of aurata from Georgia.
Distribution. This species is found from Florida along the Gulf coast into Texas and northward along the east coast as far as North Carolina
(Map: Fig. 88).