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P. E. Hallett (2011) Farmed Solitary Bees & Wasps, Data Set (generations 1997-2008) >

03.0 Museum

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The identification of the species, or group of a few species, is based on the naked eye appearance of the nest constructions and immatures. The primary observations are thus the 'nest labels' for the different types of nest. (Labels are cryptic strings of 2-5 lower case letters.) Because nests have been hatched in the laboratory and the adults keyed to species and compared against museum collections, nest labels can be associated with species names.

Examples. (a) Most often the correspondence of nest labels to scientific species names is 1 to 1 or 1 to a few. (b) Potter Wasp mud nests easily separable to species by their different prey become confusable mud nests if all the provisions are eaten (i.e., a single nest label meaning 'mud' for a few species, i.e., 'one to a few'). (c) The nests of the small Potter, Symmorphus canadensis, vary considerably in both the mixtures of prey and the colour tints of the immatures, one or two of the many nest labels for the prey-tint combinations being confusable with a narrow nesting subpopulation of the generally slightly larger sister-species S. cristatus (i.e., an association that is many to 2).

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Short pictorial guide to identification of nests of the wood-nesting Solitary Bees and Wasps of S. Ontario.

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