Comprehensive Description

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Gen. Ctenoplectra HNS , Smith.

Head transverse: antennae inserted in the middle of the face, short, not reaching to the middle of the thorax; the basal joint of the flagellum not narrowed at the base; the second joint of the same length as the first, much narrowed at the base; the three following joints transverse and of equal length, the five apical ones rather longer, of equal length, the apex of the apical joint pointed; the labrum transverse, the anterior margin rounded; the mentum rather longer than the labium, the former acute at its apex, the latter blunt or rounded; the labial palpi 4-jointed, the two basal joints stout and of equal length, the two apical ones shorter and much more slender; the paraglossae about the same length as the palpi; the maxillary palpi 6-jointed, the three basal joints stout and of equal length, the three apical joints much more slender, and each in succession shorter than the preceding; the ocelli placed in a curve on the vertex. Thorax: large and ovate; the anterior wings with one marginal and two submarginal cells, the second receiving both the recurrent nervures; legs with the femora broad and compressed; the calcaria at the apex of the intermediate tibiae stout, acute, and bent at the apex, its hinder margin toothed like a fine comb; the inner spine of the posterior calcaria toothed in a similar manner, the teeth much longer, those at the base of the spine longest, decreasing in length to the apex; the posterior tibiae and basal joint of the tarsi densely covered with long hair; the claws of the tarsi bifid. Abdomen subovate, truncated at the base.

This is a very remarkable genus of Bees: it appears to be most nearly allied to the genus Macropis; the neuration of the anterior wings is very similar, and the labial and maxillary palpi consist of the same number of joints; the ocelli are placed in a curve, and the posterior legs have a dense clothing or pollen-brush as in that genus.

The beautiful comb with which the posterior tibiae are furnished is doubtless for the purpose of removing the grains of pollen collected on the hairs which clothe the shanks. (Plate I. details.)


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