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Two-spotted Longhorn Bee (Melissodes bimaculatus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Two-spotted Longhorn Bee

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The black and yellow Two-spotted Longhorn Bee looks slightly different from others thanks to two pale spots near the tip of the abdomen.

Updated: 07/22/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Male Two-spotted Longhorn Bees have antennae that are about twice as long as usual. The genus has at least 100 different species and they vary in coloration. This particular species has two light spots near the end of its abdomen that stand out against its black body. The hind legs have long, yellow hairs on them, making them easier to tell apart from other medium-sized bees. The dense and expansive covering of hair may look like pollen dust at first glance. These long hairs help trap pollen grains from the flowers they visit.

It is believed that females collect pollen grains for future consumption by newly hatched bee larvae. Longhorn Bees are quite common throughout North America. In the spring and early summer, they can be found collecting pollen from a variety of blooming flowers, especially in agricultural fields. Look for them on the blossoms of coneflowers, asters, mallows, and legumes. Despite their ubiquity, few species have been studied well, so little is known about them.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Apidae
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          Genus: Melissodes
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            Species: bimaculatus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Melissodes bimaculatus
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 15mm (0.43" to 0.59")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; white
Descriptors: fuzzy; spots; thighs; legs; hairy; flying

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 11mm (0.4in) and 15mm (0.6in)
Lo: 11mm
Md: 13mm
Hi: 15mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Two-spotted Longhorn Bee may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Two-spotted Longhorn Bee. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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