Carl F. Baker

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Invertebrata Pacifica



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While in Central America I collected a number of species of Prosopis (descriptions to appear soon) which were typical representatives of that genus in every way. Scattered through this collection were a number of bees, very Prosopis-like, but possessing a truncated and appendiculated marginal cell and otherwise corresponding to Ashmead 's description of the genus Pasiphae, previously known only from the southern Andean region. In Trans. Am. Ent. Soc. XXIX, p. 186, Cockerell says "Mr. Vachal remarks that this has a distinct tibial pollen brush,. and cannot go with the Prosopidae. It appears to be a Colletid with only two submarginal cells.'' The Prosopidae arc usually described almost without reservation, as ''non-pubescent'', a statement that should be considerably modified. It is true that the pubescence is reduced-thin and fine, but distinctly present over most of the body in all of the American species I have seen. What the naked eye or the simple lens does not show in this case, the compound microscope will prove a clearly distinct feature. If the hind tibiae of any Prosopis are carefully examined, they will be found usually thickly covered with pubescence. In these Central American bees which I am calling Pasiphae, this pubescence is more pronounced than I have found it in any Prosopis. and while it might possibly be called a ''distinct pollen brush'', still I cannot sec it as especially similar to any Colletid and believe that the status and relationships of the genus are as stated by Ashmead. The genus Stilpnosoma, which is placed in the Prospidae, is still more pubescent, the hind tibiae very thickly so. In S. turneri the hairs on underside of tibiae are long, compound and some what matted. If the Central American form which I have is a true Pasipbae', and by Ashmead 's description it appears to be, then Pasiphae can be no Collctid even by general habitus, to say nothing more. I shall name this species.

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