A. S. (Alpheus Spring) Packard.

Guide to the study of insects, and a treatise on those injurious and beneficial to crops: for the use of colleges, farm-schools, and agriculturists online

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the mature bees issue through a hole in the gall (Plate 4,* Fig.
14. From specimens communicated by Mr. F. G. Sanborn).
The earthen cells, containing the tough dense cocoons, were
arranged irregularly so as to fit the concave vault of the larger
gall, which was about two inches in diameter. On emerging
from the cell the Osmia cuts out with its powerful jaws an
ovate lid, nearly as large as one side of the cell. Both sexes
may be found in April and May in the flowers of the willow

* EXPLANATION or PLATE 4. Fig. 1, a cell of the Humble-bee; natural size,
with the pollen mass upon the top. Fig. 2, end view of the same mass, showing
the three eggs laid in three divisions of the cavity. Fig. 3, Xylocopa Virginica, the
Carpenter Bee. Fig. 4, the larva of Xylocopa Virginica; natural size. Fig. 5,
the nest containing the cells of the same, with the partitions and pollen masses,
on which the young larva is seen in the act of feeding; natural size. Fig. 6,
young larva of Anthrax sinuosa; side view. Fig. 7, pupa of Anthrax sinuosa,
side view; natural size. Fig. 8, the Leaf-cutter Bee (Megachile), on a rose leaf,
in the act of cutting out a circular piece. Fig. 9, cells of Megachile, in the elder;
natural size. Fig. 10, larva of Ceratina dupla, the little green Upholsterer Bee;
enlarged. Fig. 11, cells of the same in the stem of the elder; natural size. Fig.
12, cells of Osmia lignivora, new species, the wood-devouring Mason-bee, exca-
vated in the maple ; natural size. Fig. 13, cells of Osmia simillima, the common
green Mason-bee, built in the deserted gall of the Oak-gall Fly. Fig. 14, a single
earthen cell of the same; natural size. Fig. 15, pollen mass, or bee-bread of
Osmia lignaria ; natural size. It is made up of distinct pellets of pollen, which
are probably stuck together with saliva.


and fruit trees which blossom later. The antennae are black,
and the green body is covered with fine white hairs, becoming
yellowish above.

In the Harris collection are the cells and specimens of Osmia
pacifica Say, the peaceful Osmia, which, according to the man-
uscript notes of Dr. Harris, is found in the perfect state in
earthen cells (Plate 5, Fig. 2) beneath stones. The cell is oval
cylindrical, a little contracted as usual with those of all the spe-
cies of the genus, thus forming an urn-shaped cell. It is half
an inch long, and nearly three-tenths of an inch wide, while the
cocoon, which is rather thin, is three-tenths of an inch long.

The following genera, called Cuckoo Bees, are parasitic on
other bees, laying their eggs in the cells, or nests, of their host.
In Coelioxys the body is stout, and the bee closely mimics its
host, Megachile. The ligula is very long, being almost three
times the length of the labium, and the paraglossse are wholly
wanting ; the maxillary palpi are short, three-jointed, and the
abdominal tip of the male is variously toothed. Coelioxys octo-
dentata Say, is abundant late in the summer about flowers. An
allied genus, Melecta, is parasitic on Anthophora, and Epeolus is
parasitic on Colletes.

The species of Nomada are very numerous ; in all, the tongue
is long and acute, with paraglossae about one-fourth as long
as the tongue ; the maxillary pair of palpi are six-jointed ;
and there are three subcostal cells. The species in their slen-
der, smooth, gaily colored body resemble the wasps. These
Cuckoo-bees lay their eggs in the nests of Andrena and Ha-
lictus, and, according to English authors, Panurgus and Eucera,
where they may be found in all stages of development corre-
sponding to those of their hosts. The females do not sting
severely. The species emit sweet, balmy, or balsamical odors.
Shuckard states that these bees should be killed with burning
sulphur to preserve their bright colors.

The larvye differ greatty from those of their hosts, Andrena,
the head being much smaller, the body being smoother and
rounder, and belonging to a more degraded, lower type. The
whole body is more attenuated towards both extremities.
The pupa differs from those of any other genus of this family
known to us, except Andrena, by having three conspicuous


spines on the upper and posterior edge of the orbit, which are
also found in the pupa of Stigmus, a Crabronid genus, and which
evidently aid in locomotion. Thus the same law of degrada-
tion obtains in these highly organized bee-parasites as in the
lower parasitic species, though in a much less marked degree.

From specimens found in the nests of Andrena and Halictus,
collected at Salem by Mr. J. H. Emerton, and now in the Mu-
seum of the Essex Institute, we have been enabled in great
part to clear up the history of this bee. We have found in the
nests of Andrena vicina both sexes of Nomada imbricata Smith,
and several females of Nomada pulchella of Smith ; and in the
cells of Halictus parallelus Say, specimens of Nomada imbri-
cata. Both full-grown larvae and pupae of different ages, up
to the adult Nomada, ready to take leave of its host, were
found in the cells of the Andrena vicina. It seems, there-
fore, that the newly hatched young of Nomada must feed
on the pollen mass destined for the Andrena. But there
seems to be enough for both genera to feed upon, as the young
of both host and parasite were found living harmoniously to-
gether, and the hosts and their parasites are disclosed both at
the same time. Does not this mild sort of parasitism in No-
mada throw much light on the probable habits of Apathus, the
Humble-bee parasite ? It is more than probable that the Apa-
thus larvae simply eat the food of the Bombus larvae, and do
not attack the larvae of their hosts. Both Nomada and Apathus
in their adult stages live harmoniously with their hosts, and
are seen gathering food from the same flowers, and flying about
the same nest.

In the second subfamily, Andrenetce, the ligula, or tongue, is
for the most part short and broad, and the maxillary palpi
have four joints of equal size.

In Spliecodes the body is smooth and wasp-like, and in its
habit of running and flying in dry sandy places, it resembles
Sphex, whence its generic name. The abdomen is generally
light red, farther aiding in the resemblance to the Sphegidce.
The ligula is short, lancet-shaped, fringed with setae ; the para-
glossae are not so long as the tongue, while the labial palpi are
shorter than the paraglossae, and the maxillae are broad, lan-
ceolate, with six-jointed palpi. The antennae of the males are

AI'IAKI.K. 143

short and sometimes moniliform. tSphecode* <i!<-lir<t. Harris is
our most common species. Mr. F. Smith, from direct observa-
tion, states that this genus builds cells, though earlier authors
have stated that it is parasitic on Halictus and Andrcna.

Prosopis is generally yellow on the face, and is "less pubes-
cent than any of the bees." The tongue is broad, subemar-
ginate, the paraglossre reach a little beyond the tongue ; the
labial palpi are as long as the tongue, while there are two sub-
costal cells in the fore wings. Smith states that the genus is
not parasitical as formerly supposed, as he has "repeatedly
bred them" from cells laid in a regular order in the hollow of
bramble stems. Mr. S. Saunders has also raised them in Alba-
nia' where "they construct their cells in bramble sticks (which
they bore in the same manner as Colletes) with a thin transpa-
rent membrane, calculated for holding semi-liquid honey, which
they store up for their young. The species are much attacked
by Stylops." Like Sphecodes and Ceratina, this genus, accord-
ing to Smith, is unprovided with pollenigerous organs. We
have several species in this country of which P. affinis Smith,
and P. elliptica Kirby, are found northward. The habits of
our species are not known.

Augochlora comprises beautiful shining metallic green spe-
cies, very commonly met with. The thorax is globose, and
the anterior wings have one marginal and three submarginal
cells ; the first submarginal cell as long as the second and third
united. Augochlora purus Smith is a small, green, rather
common species. Mr. J. H. Emerton has found its nests in Sa-
lem, near those of Andrena. The mouth of the hole opened
under a stone, and was built up so as to form a tube of sand
(Plate 5, Fig. 1). The burrow on the 28th of June was four
inches deep.

Andrena is a genus of great extent, and the species are often
difficult to distinguish. The lanceolate tongue is moderately
long, and the paraglossae are half as long as the tongue itself,
while the six-jointed maxillary palpi are longer than the maxillae
themselves. The wings have three subcostal cells, with the
rudiments of a fourth one ; the second is squarish, and the
third receives a recurrent nervure near the middle. The pos-
terior legs " have a long curled lock upon the trochanter be-


neath, and the anterior upper surface of the femora is clothed
with long loose hair, which equally surrounds the whole of the
tibiae." (Shuckard.) The abdomen is banded more or less
conspicuously with reddish.

The larva (Fig. 79) is stout and thick, with a head of moder-
ate size, and the mouth-parts are a little shorter than usual, the
maxillse and labium especially. The segments of
the body are much more convex (angularly so)
than usual, giving a tuberculate outline to the
body. It is stouter than that of Halictus, the
wings are less convex than in that genus ; while the
maxillse are much stouter and blunter. The pupa
is distinguished from the other genera by much the
same characters as the imago, except that there
Fig. 79. are two tubercles on the vertex near the ocelli.
From a comparison of all its stages, this genus stands inter-
mediate between those placed above, and Halictus, which, in
all its characters, is a more degraded form. The males often
differ widely from the other sex, in their broad heads and widely
spreading bidentate mandibles.

Mr. Emerton has observed the habits of our most common
species, Andrena vicina Smith, which builds its nest in grassy
fields. The burrow is sunken perpendicularly, with short pas-
sages leading to the cells, which are slightly inclined downwards
and outwards from the main gallery. The walls of the gallery
are rough, but the cells are lined with a mucus-like secretion,
which, on hardening, looks like the glazing of earthen-ware. In
Fig. 80 Mr. Emerton gives us a profile view of natural size of
the nest showing the main burrow and the cells leading from it ;
the oldest cell, containing the pupa (a) is situated nearest the
surface, while those containing larvae (6) lie between the pupa
and the cell (e) containing the pollen mass and egg resting
upon it. The most recent cell (/) is the deepest down, and
contains a freshly deposited pollen mass. At c is the begin-
ning of a cell ; g is the level of the ground. The bees were
seen at work on the 4th of May, at Salem, Mass., digging their
holes, one of which was already six inches deep ; and by the
15th, hundreds of holes were observed. On the 28th of May,
in unearthing six holes, eight cells were found to contain pol-



len, and two of them a small larva. On the 29th of June six
full-grown larvae were exhumed, and one about half-grown.
About the first of August the
larva transforms to a pupa, and
during the last week of this month
the mature bees appear.

In Halictus, which is a genus
of great extent, the head is trans-
verse, and flattish ; the mouth-
parts are of moderate length, the
tongue being very acute, with
acute paraglossae half the length
of the tongue, while the labial
palpi are not quite so long as
the paraglossae. There are three
subcostal cells in the wings, with
the rudiments of a fourth often
present, and the second cell is
squarish. The abdomen is ob-
long ovate, with a longitudinal
linear furrow on the tip in the
female. In the males the body
is longer and the antennae more
filiform and slender than usual in
this family.

The larvae are longer, and with
more acutely convex segments
than in Andrena. The pupae
differ much as the adult bees from
Andrena, especially in the shorter

Halictus parallelus Say excavates cells almost exactly like
those of Andrena ; but since the bee is smaller, the holes are
smaller, though as deep. Mr. Emerton found one nest, in a
path, a foot in depth. Another nest, discovered September 9th,
was about six inches deep. The cells are in form like those of
Andrena, and like them are glazed within. The egg is rathor
slender and much curved ; in form it is long, cylindrical, ob-
tuse at one end, and much smaller at the other. The larva

Fig. 80.


(Fig. 81) is longer and slenderer, being quite different from the
rather broad and flattened larva of Andrena. The body is
rather thick behind, but in front tapers slowly
towards the head, which is of moderate size. Its
body is somewhat tuberculated, the tubercles aid-
ing the grub in moving about its cell. Its length
is .40 of an inch. On the pupa are four quite dis-
tinct conical tubercles forming a transverse line
Fig. si. j us t i n front of the ocelli ; and there are also
two larger, longer tubercles, on the outer side of each of
which an ocellus is situated. Figure 82 represents the pupa
seen from beneath.'

Search was made for the nests on July 16th, when
the ground was very hard for six inches in depth,
below which the soil was soft and fine, and over
twenty cells were dug out. "The upper cells
contained nearly mature pupae, and the lower ones
larvae of various sizes, the smallest being hardly
distinguishable by the naked eye. Each of these
small larvae was in a cell by itself, and situated
upon a lump of pollen, which was of the size and shape of a
pea, and was found to lessen in size as the larva grew larger.
These young were probably the offspring of several females,
as four mature bees were found in the hole." (Emerton.)
The larva of an English species hatches in ten days after the
eggs are laid.

Another brood of bees appeared the middle of September,
as on the ninth of that month (1864) Mr. Emerton found sev-
eral holes of the same species of bee made in a hard gravel
road near the turnpike. When opened, they were found to
contain several bees with their young. September 2, 1867, the
same kind of bee was found in holes, and just ready to leave
the cell.

Like Bombus, the females are supposed to hybernate, the
males not appearing until late in the season. Like Andrena,
these bees suffer from the attacks of Stylops, and according to
Shuckard, an Ichneumon preys upon them, while certain spe-
cies of Cerceris, Philanthus, and Crabro carry them off to store
their nests with.


In Cottetes the females, as Shuckard observes, resemble the
workers of the Honey-bee, while there is considerable disparity
between the sexes, the males being much smaller, the tongue
and maxillae very short; and the four-jointed labial palpi
much shorter than the paraglossae. There are three subcostal
cells, with the rudiments of a fourth. These bees form large colo-
nies, burrowing in the earth eight or ten inches deep, lining their
cells "at the farther end with a very thin transparent iflem-
branaceous coating, resembling goldbeaters' skin." They thus
furnish six or eight cartridge-like cells, covering each with a
cap, "like the parchment on a drum-head." Smith, from whom
we have been quoting, states that Miltogramma punctata, which
is a Tachina-like fly, and the Cuckoo-bee, Epeolus variegatus,
have, in Europe, been reared from their cocoons.

VESPARI.E Latreille, Wasps. In this family, which comprises
about 900 species, the body is more attenuated, more cylindri-
cal, with a harder and smoother tegument than in the Ap iarice .
In the species with densely populated colonies, such as Vespa
and Polistes, there are workers which are often very numerous,
while in Eumenes and Odynerus, etc., there are only males and
females. The antennae are elbowed, the mandibles are large,
stout ; the maxillae and labium of varying length ; the maxil-
lary palpi are six-jointed ; while on the labial palpi, which are
four-jointed, there are well-developed paraglossae. The pro-
thorax is prolonged on each side to the insertion of the wings
which are long and narrow, and once folded longitudinally
when at rest ; the fore pair have two or three subcostal cells ;
the hind shanks and tibiae are smooth. The eggs, when first
laid, are globular, soon becoming oval.

The larvae of this family are soft, fleshy, with larger heads in
proportion to the rest of the body, than in the Apiarice;
the antennal tubercle, or rudimentary antennae, are more dis-
tinct, and the mandibles are larger. The surface of the body
is smoother in Vespa and Polistes, but more tuberculated in the
solitary genera, Odynerus and allies, while the end of the body
is more acute.

As in the Apiarice the higher genera are social, building
papery nests, while the lower are solitary and build cells of mud
or sand in protected places.


In Vespa, the Paper Wasp, the ligula is squarish, with the
paraglossoe nearly as long as the tongue, the outer maxillary
lobes rounded oval, half as long as the palpi, and the labial
maxillae are scarcely longer than the tongue. The abdomen
is broad at base, acutely conical. The nests are either with or
without a papery covering, supported by a short pedicel.

Such females as have hybernated, begin to make their
cells in the early part of summer. Smith states that the soli-
tary female wasp " begins by making three saucer-shaped re-
ceptacles, in each of which she deposits an egg ; she then
proceeds to form other similar - shaped receptacles, until the
eggs first deposited are hatched and the young grubs require a
share of her attention. From the circular bases she now be-
gins to raise her hexagonal cells, not building them up at once,
but from time to time raising them as the young grubs grow.
(Proc. Ent. Soc., London, 1858, p. 35.)

Waterhouse states that the cells formed by the solitary fe-
male early in the season appear " to be built entirely of glisten-
ing, whitish, silk-like threads which I have little doubt are a
secretion from the insect, all the threads being firmly attached
together as if they had originally been of a glutinous nature."
The cells formed later in the season by the workers, differ
in consisting of masticated rotten wood. "Almost simultane-
ously with the commencement of the cells, it appears that the
nest-covering is commenced. At first it has the appearance of
a miniature umbrella, serving to shelter the rudimentary cells."
Plate 5, Fig. 3, shows a group of cells surrounded by one
layer of paper, and the beginning of another. As the nest

grows larger the cells are ar-
ranged in galleries, supported by
pedicels, and the number of
layers in the outside covering
greatly increases in number.

While our common and largest
species, Vespa maculata Linn.
(Fig. 83), and the yellow wasp,
Fi s- 83< V. arewcmaFabr., build papery

nests consisting of several galleries, with the mouth of the cells
directed downwards, the East Indian species, V. orientalis,


builds its cells of clay, and, according to Waterhouse, "the
work is exceedingly beautiful and true." Another species,
according to Smith, makes its nest of sandy loam, the exterior
being so hard that a saw used in opening one of its sides was

The larva of Vespa arenaria is long and cylindrical, not
so much curved as in Polistes. Its position in its cell corre-
sponds to its form, as the cell is longer and narrower than that
of Polistes. Each segment of the body is posteriorly some-
what thickened, as is the lateral (pleural) ridge of the body.
The tip of the abdomen is rather blunt, the last sternite be-
ing large and transverse. The pupa is provided with a single
tubercle on the vertex, where there are two in the Crabron-
idce and Sphegidce.

By the time the nest of V. arenaria is large enough to
contain ten full-grown larvae, and has about fourteen cells in
all, being about an inch in diameter, the occupants of the two
or three central cells will have changed to pupae, and one wasp
will have been excluded.

In a nest of the same species two inches in diameter, there
were a second brood of larvae. The outer row of cells were
occupied by pupae, while the central ones, emptied of the first
brood, were filled with a second brood of larvae. Evidently as
soon as an imago leaves its cell, the female deposits an egg
therein, as very minute larvae were found occupying cells next
to those containing large full-grown larvae.

In comparing a number of pupae from a large nest, they
will be found to be in all stages of perfection, from the
larva which has ceased feeding, and is preparing to transform,
to the imago, still veiled by its thin subimago pellicle. It is dif-
ficult to draw lines between these stages. Also when com-
pared closely side by side, it is difficult, if not impossible to find
any two pupae just alike, the development proceeding very un-
equally. Thus the limbs may be more perfect than the antennae,
or certain parts may be less perfect in some than in others, while
the limbs may be more highly colored like the imago.

Like the bees, Vespa suffers from numerous parasites, includ-
ing Rhipiphorous paradoxus, which is a beetle allied to Stylops,
and Lebia (Dromius) linearis. The larva of Volucella is said


to feed on the Vespa-larvae, and Mr. Stone says that Anthomyia
incana is also parasitic in Wasps' nests, while two species
of Ichneumons, one of which is Anomalon vesparum, also in-
fest the larvae. No parasites have been as yet detected in this

The Hornet, V. crabro Linn., has, according to Mr. Angus,
become domesticated about New York. This and the smaller
wasps are sometimes injurious by eating into ripe fruit, but the
injury is more than counterblanced by the number of flies and
other insects they feed their young with.

Indeed, as Saussure states, the species of Vespa are more
omnivorous in their tastes than any other wasps. They live by
rapine and pillage, and have obtained a worse repute than other
insects more injurious. In spring and early summer they feed on
the sweets of flowers ; but later in the season attack strawber-
ries, plums, grapes, and other fruits, and often enter houses and
there help themselves to the dishes on the table. They will eat
raw meat, and then aid the butcher by devouring the flies that
lay their eggs on his meats. They will sometimes destroy Honey-
bees, attacking them on their return from the fields laden with
pollen ; they throw themselves upon their luckless victims, and
tear the abdomen from the rest of the body, and suck their
blood, devouring only the abdomen. They fall upon flies and
butterflies, and, biting off their wings, feet, and head, devour
the trunk. In attacking insects they use only their powerful
jaws, and not the sting, differing in this respect from the
fossorial wasps.

Saussure states that though wasps do not generally lay up
food, yet at certain periods they do fill the cells with honey.

The females feed their young with food chewed up and re-
duced to a pulp. Saussure questions whether the larvae of one
sex are not fed on animal and the other on vegetable food,
since Huber had shown "what a great influence the kind of
food exerts on the sex of Bees." But it is now known that the
sexes of some, and probably all insects are determined before
the larvae is hatched. I have seen the rudiments of the ovi-
positor in the half-grown larvae of the Humble-bee, and it is
most probable that those rudiments began to develop during
embryonic life. It is far more probable that the sexual differ-
ences are determined at the time of conception.


Westwood states that the larvre, which live head-downward
from the ivvtTsi'd position of the comb, retain their position in
the cell, while young, by a glutinous secretion, and afterwards
"by the swollen front of the body which fills the open part of
the cell." "The female cells are mostly placed apart from
those of the males and neuters, those of the males being often
mixed, but in a small number, in the neuter combs. The egg
state lasts eight days, the larva state thirteen or fourteen, and
that of the pupa about ten. After the imago has been produced,
one of the old workers cleans out the cell, and fits it for the
reception of a fresh inhabitant. The upper tier of cells, being
first built, serves for the habitation of the workers ; the females,
being produced at the end of the summer, occupy the lowest

Online LibraryA. S. (Alpheus Spring) PackardGuide to the study of insects, and a treatise on those injurious and beneficial to crops: for the use of colleges, farm-schools, and agriculturists → online text (page 14 of 29)