abscissa : veins that help define wing cells

Afrotropic : biogeographic region that includes Africa south of the Sahara Desert, the southern and eastern fringes of the Arabian Peninsula, the island of Madagascar, southern Iran, the islands of the western Indian Ocean, and extreme southwestern Pakistan

aggregate : a mass or body of units or individuals somewhat loosely associated with one another

angulate : forming an angle rather than a curve

anterior : toward the head or on the head side of a segment being described

apex : end of any structure

apical : near or at the apex or end of any structure

arcuate : curved like a bow

arolium : the cushion-like pad between the tarsal claws found at the ends of some bees' legs

Australasia : biogeographic region that includes Australia, the island of New Guinea, and the eastern part of the Indonesian Archipelago

axilla : the triangular or rounded point on the thorax where thoracic muscles meet the forewing of an insect


bands : usually referring to bands of hair or bands of color that traverse across an abdominal segment

basal : originating at the foundation of a structure

basitarsus : the segment of the tarsus that is the nearest to the body of the bee, usually the largest of all the tarsal segments

basitibial plate : a small plate at the base of the hind tibia, like a kneecap

bifid : divided into two branches; forked


capitate : ending in a large club shape supported by a long, slender stem; generally used to describe the shape of the final antennal segments

carina : a clearly defined ridge or keel, not necessarily high or acute; usually appears on bees as simply a raised line

carinate : having keels or carinae

cleptoparasite : bees that lay their eggs in the nest cells of bees in other genera. Their larvae depend on the pollen provided by their host. Since cleptoparasitic bees don't provision their own nests, and instead depend on the pollen collected by their host, the females lack pollen collecting hairs. This often gives them a wasp-like appearance.

clypeus : a section of the face below the antennae, demarcated by the epistomal sutures

convex : curved outward

corbicula : concave, smooth space, edged by a fringe of hairs arising from the margins of the hind tibia in bees, literally "basket" in Latin; its function is to hold the collected pollen in place

corbiculate : applies to all the bees that have corbicula (and which are part of a natural group within bees in the subfamily Apinae)

cornutus : in genitalia, a slender heavily chitinized spine which often occurs, usually in some numbers, in the ejaculatory duct

coxa : the basal segment of the leg

cranial margin : margin of the sclerotized disc on S6 of Apis females

crenulate : having a finely scalloped or notched outline or edge

cubital index : is a morphometric measurement of the vein comprising the bottom of the third submarginal cell, this vein is intersected from below by the second recurrent vein and the ratio is the basal portion of the vein prior to the intersection of the second recurrent vein divided by the apical portion of the vein distal to the intersection of the second recurrent vein

cubital vein : the longitudinal vein that is posterior to the marginal vein


denticle : a small tooth-like projection

diapause : a period of dormancy during development, generally during unfavorable environmental conditions

dimorphic : having two distinct forms

disc : a generic term for the middle surface of a plate (usually in reference to an abdominal segment)

distal : place on a segment that is furthest from the place of attachment with the body

distitarsus : the fifth tarsal segment, furthest from the body

diurnal : active only during daytime, as opposed to nocturnal

dorsum : in general, the upper surface


eclose : the act of emerging from the pupal case or hatching from the egg

emarginate : a notched or cut out place in an edge or margin, can be dramatic or simply a subtle inward departure from the general curve or line of the margin or structure being described

endophallus : the inner chamber of the phallus invaginated at the end of the aedeagus, into which the ejaculatory duct opens; typically an eversible sac or tube, but sometimes a permanently internal phallic structure

episternum : the lateral or side areas of the thorax, excluding the lateral surfaces of the propodeum

epistomal sutures : groove that runs from the edge of the mandible to below the antennae

eumenid : a member of the Eumeninae subfamily (potter wasps)

eusociality : an evolutionarily advanced level of colonial existence, were adult members belong to two or more overlapping generations, care cooperatively for the immature, and are divided into reproductive and nonreproductive castes


femur : the third segment of the leg, situated between the trochanter and the tibia

ferruginous : rust-colored

fimbriate : having a fringe or border of hair-like or finger-like projections

flagellomere : any segment of the antenna past the scape and pedicel

forecoxa : coxa of the front pair of legs

forelegs : usually refers to the first pair of legs, the ones closest to the head

fovea : a depressed region of cuticle; in bees this depressed area is usually only very slightly hollow and usually on the face.

frons : the area between the antennae and ocelli on the bee's head

fuscous : gray-brown coloration, generally used to describe wing color


galea : an elongate, blade-like structure that wraps around the outer surface of the proboscis

gena : the cheek or side of the head

genitalia : all the genital structures collectively

gonangulum : a sclerite formed from the ninth abdominal segment and forming part of the ovipositor

gonocoxite : basal part of the appendage formed on each side of the male genitalia. It can be partly or completely fused to the gonostylus at the apical portion of the appendage, often making the two segments indistinguishable.

gonoforceps : the unsegmented apical-most appendage of the external male genitalia

gonostylus : the apical-most appendage of the male genitalia, which is usually quite hairy

gradulus : A transverse line on abdominal segments ofsome bees that is formed by a groove or a step between two regions that differ in height. This line can be well developed and present across the entire segment but can also be diminished or absent through part of the segment, requiring close inspection.


hemitergite : the hidden terga of female bees, includes T7 and T8, which are weakly sclerotized plates that are part of the sting apparatus and require dissection to observe

Holarctic : biogeographic region that encompasses the majority of habitats found throughout the northern continents of the world

holotype : the type specimen used to describe a species

homogeneous : uniform, composed of similar or identical parts or elements

hospicidal : the early instars of clepoparasitic bees, which have been oviposited into complete brood cells of another species. When the early instars develop, they kill off the developing individual that was originally occupying the brood cell.

hyaline : transparent, glassy

hypostoma : the notched region underneath the head and behind the mandible that holds the folded tongue


imbricate : overlapping, like shingles or roof tiles

Indomalaya : biogeographic region that extends from Afghanistan through the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to lowland southern China and through Indonesia as far as Java, Bali, and Borneo

integument : a tough, protective outer layer


jugal lobe : the inner most lobe of the hind wing, oftenset off from the the rest of the wing by a fold and a notch in the margin. The jugal lobe can be absent in some genera.

juxtantennal carina : a longitudinal carina immediately mesal to the antennal base


labial palpus : one of the pair of jointed, sensory structures carried on the labium of the mouth parts

labrum : part of the head abutting the clypeus, folds down in front of the mouthparts

lamella : thin, plate-like, often somewhat translucent structure

lancet : apical part of the first valvula [= the first valvifer, which originated from the appendage of the 7th gastral segment, has commonly been referred to as the triangular plate or gonoplac which basally, gives rise to the first valvula which is a long thin process. The basal part of the first valvula is the first ramus and the more apical part the lancet, which itself gives rise to the valvilli (or lancet valves)].

larva : active immature form of an insect, especially one that differs greatly from the adult and forms the stage between egg and pupa

lateral : relating, pertaining, or attached to the side

lineolate : marked with fine lines


maculation : a bright or contrasting mark or spot

malar area : the shortest distance between the base of the mandible and the margin of the compound eye

mandible : bee teeth, so to speak, usually crossed and folded in front of the mouth

marginal cell : a wing cell located on the edge (margin) of the wing

maxillary palpus : one of the pair of jointed, sensory structures carried on the maxilla of the mouth parts

mediotarsus : tarsal segments between the basitarsus and distitarsus

megachiliform : body heavy, head thick, metasoma rather wide, not parallel-sided

mesepisternum : the second or middle segment on the side of the thorax bearing the middle legs and the forewings, the pronotum is the first segment

mesothorax : the middle of the three segments of the thorax

metabasitarsal process : the projection located anteriorly to the metabasitarsus, present on some male honey bees

metabasitarsus : the basitarsi on the hind legs

metanotum : the posterior dorsal segment of the thorax, behind the scutellum

metasoma : the posterior part of the body

metepisternum : thorax segment bearing the hind legs and hind wings

monophyletic : a group of organisms having descended from the same common ancestor

morphometry : from the Greek: "morph," meaning "shape," and "metron," meaning "measurement." Different schools of morphometrics are characterized by what aspects of biological "form" they are concerned with, what they choose to measure, and what kinds of biostatistical questions they ask of the measurements once they are made; such as configurations of landmarks from whole organs or organisms analyzed by appropriately invariant biometric methods (covariances of taxon, size, etc.) and in order to answer biological questions. Another sort of morphometrics studies tissue sections, measures the densities of points and curves, and uses these patterns to answer questions about the random processes that may be controlling the placement of cellular structures. A third, the method of "allometry," measures sizes of separate organs and asks questions about their correlations with each other and with measures of total size. There are many others.


Nearctic : biogeographical region comprising North America as far south as northern Mexico, together with Greenland

Neotropical : biogeographic region that includes South and Central America, the Caribbean Islands, southern Florida, and the southern Mexican lowlands

New World : the Western Hemisphere; especially the continental landmass of North and South America


ocellus : simple light reception organs; bees have three of them at the top of their head

Old World : the part of the world that was known before the discovery of the Americas, comprised of Europe, Asia, and Africa; the Eastern Hemisphere

oligolectic : the term used to describe bees that specialize on a narrow range of pollen sources, generally a specific plant genus

omaulus : angle between anterior and lateral surfaces of mesepisternum

ovipositor : the tubular egg-laying apparatus of female bees, often referred to as the stinger


Palearctic : the largest biogeographic region; consists of Europe, Asia north of the Himalaya foothills, Northern Africa, and the northern and central parts of the Arabian Peninsula

palpus : sensory appendages part of the labium and maxilla

paraocular : the area extending along the sides of the face parallel to the eye

parapsidal line : the line that runs submedially along the scutum and corresponds to the median border of the site of origin for flight muscles

pedicel : the second segment of the antennae, between the scape and flagellum

pharate : in transition between stages of development

plumose : feather-like

polylectic : bees that collect pollen from the flowers of a variety of unrelated plants

preapical : referring to a section of a bee that is physically found just before the outermost (or apical) end of the section or segment

preoccipital ridge : the carina that dorsolaterally surrounds the back of the head

prestigma : the expansion of the venation at the confluence of the costal/subcostal and radial sector veins basal of the prostigma

proboscidial fossa : the large, deep groove on the underside of the head into which the proboscis folds

proboscis : an elongated sucking mouthpart that is typically tubular and flexible

pronotal lobe : a part of the pronotum located dorsally on the posterior margin of the pronotum and overlaps the anterior thoracic spiracle

pronotum : a collar-like segment on the thorax and directly behind the head; extends down the sides of the thorax toward the first pair of legs

propodeal spiracle : the spiracle bordering the posterior margin of the propodeum

propodeum : the last segment of the thorax

propolis : a red or brown resinous substance collected by honeybees from tree buds, used by them to fill crevices and to seal and varnish honeycombs

protuberant : rising or produced above the surface or the general level of a feature

pubescence : short, fine hair

punctate : studded with tiny holes

punctation : overall pattern of the punctures on a surface of a bee, includes size of punctures and the distance between them

pupa : an insect in its inactive immature form between larva and adult

pygidial plate : unusually flat area (a plate) surrounded by a ridge or line and sometimes sticking well off of the end of the bee; if present, found on the sixth upper abdominal segment in females, seventh in males

pygidium : the terminal part or hind segment of the body


rastellum : a row of spurs that extends along the inner margin of the hind tibia

reflexed : bent up or away


scape : the basal, and usually the longest, segment of the antennae

sclerotized : hardened by the formation of sclerotin, specifically the exoskeleton of an insect

scopa : modified hairs for carrying pollen; often branched and dense hairs on the hind-leg, or on the ventral surface of the abdomen in Megachilidae

scutellum : shield shaped plate behind scutum

scutum : the large segment on top of the thorax located between the wings and behind the head

seta : a still hair-like structure or bristle

sinuate : margin wavy or with multiple strong indentations

spatulate : having a broad, rounded end

spiracle : a breathing pore, usually occurring on the third thorasic segment

squamose : covered with minute scales

sterna : the plates on the underside of the abdomen, often abbreviated when referring to a specific segment to S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, or S8

stigma : a pigmented/ thickened spot on the costal margin of the forewing, usually at the end of the radius(Greek, stigma= mark)

strigilis : an organ for cleaning the antennae on the first tarsal joint of a bee's foreleg

subantennal suture : the groove extending from each antennal socket down to the epistomal suture

subequal : similar but not necessarily exactly equal in size, form, or length

submarginal cells : one or more cells of the wing lying immediately behind the marginal cells

supraclypeal area : the region of the head between the antennal sockets and clypeus, demarcated on the sides by the subantennal sutures

suture : a groove marking the line of fusion of two distinct plates on the body or face of a bee

sympatric : overlapping geographic distribution


tarsus : the group of segments at the end of the leg following the tibia

tegula : the usually oval, small shield-like structure carried at the extreme base of the wing where it attaches to the body

terga : the segments on the top side of the abdomen, often abbreviated when referring to a specific segment to T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, or T7

tibia : the segment of the leg, between the femur and the tarsus

tibial spine : a spine or spines on the distal end of the tibia

tibial spur : apical projection(s) often found at the apex of the tibia

tomenta : a form of pubescence composed of short matted, woolly hair

trochanter : segment of the insect leg between the coxa and the femur

truncate : ending abruptly, or squared off

tubercle : a small knob-like or rounded protuberance


vannal lobe : often the secondmost inner lobe of the hind wing, usually set off from the the rest of the wing by a fold and a notch in the margin. The jugal lobe can be absent in some genera and in those cases the jugal lobe is the innermost lobe of the hind wing.

venation : the arrangement of veins in wings

ventral : of, on, or relating to the underside of an animal, or segment of an animal

vertex : the area between the ocelli and the back of the head

vestibulum : an external genital cavity formed above the seventh abdominal sternum when the latter extends beyond the eighth


xeric : a very dry habitat