sunflower nomia

(Dieunomia heteropoda heteropoda)

Conservation Status
sunflower nomia
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Sunflower nomia is a medium-sized to large, dark, solitary, ground-nesting bee. It occurs in the southern two-thirds of the United States and in northern Mexico. There are two recognized subspecies of sunflower nomia. Kirby’s dieunomia (Dieunomia heteropoda heteropoda), the southern subspecies, is a large bee. Sunflower nomia (Dieunomia heteropoda heteropoda), the northern subspecies, is a medium-sized bee. Only the northern subspecies occurs in Minnesota. It was first collected in Minnesota in 1824 in Scott County. Its current range is thought to extend just to the southernmost counties of the state.

The male is (17 mm) in length.

The head is black and shiny. The face is rounded. There is a single line-like groove extending downward from the base of each antenna (subantennal suture). The tongue is short. The antennae on the female have 12 segments, on the male they have 13 segments. The last antennal segment on the male is broad and flattened.

The thorax is shiny black, coarsely punctured (pitted), and densely covered with hairs.

The abdomen is black, shiny, and densely punctured. At the end of each abdominal segment (tergite) there is a band of brown or light brown hairs. On the last tergite the band does not appear divided. When viewed from above, the first tergite is shallowly indented and has a shallow V-shaped groove on the front margin. The sides of each tergite have a tuft of pollen-collecting hairs. The tufts often wrap to the upper side.

The wings are tinted brown. On the forewing there are three submarginal cells. The basal vein on the forewing is strongly curved (arced) inward.

The legs are black. On the middle legs the third segment (femur) is greatly swollen. The fourth segment (tibia) has no spurs at the end. On the hind legs the femur is swollen but not as much as on the middle leg. On the male the tibia has a large, flattened, triangular extension on the inside. There are two spurs on the extension. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has five segments. The first segment on the hind leg is greatly elongated and has a fringe of hairs on the inside.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Female Length: 916 (14 mm)

Male Length: (17 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Prairies, corn and soybean crops

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

July through mid-September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Sunflower nomia is a solitary nester. The female builds a nest in the ground surrounded by a giant mound of excavated soil. The opening to the nest is at the base of the mound. While each nest is occupied by a single female, there are often many nests in a small area..

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Pollen and nectar of mostly prairie sunflower (Helianthus petiolaris) but also other sunflowers

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82.

 
  8/29/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rare in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  
 

Suborder

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)  
 

Infraorder

Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)  
  Clade Anthophila  
 

Superfamily

Apoidea (apoid wasps, bees, sphecoid wasps)  
 

Family

Halictidae (sweat and furrow bees)  
 

Subfamily

Nomiinae  
 

Genus

Dieunomia  
  Subgenus Dieunomia  
  species Dieunomia heteropoda (sunflower nomia)  
       
 

There are two recognized subspecies of sunflower nomia. Only the nominate subspecies Dieunomia heteropoda heteropoda occurs in Minnesota.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Nomia heteropoda

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

sunflower nomia

sunflower sweat bee

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    sunflower nomia      
 

Scott Leddy

 
    sunflower nomia      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Dieunomia heteropoda
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab
  Dieunomia heteropoda  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
     
     
     
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Alfredo Colon
5/30 to 6/1/2021

Location: Woodbury, MN

sunflower nomia  
  Scott Leddy
8/4/2019

Location: just outside of Rushford, in Fillmore County, MN

sunflower nomia

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 4/22/2021

Last Updated:

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