Bee and wasp checklists

I added about 200 known specialists yesterday. If you want, I can email you the spreadsheet to help batch upload the rest.

Did someone add Colorado? iNat currently lists 431 species there.

I added all the western specialists I could find with yesterday. I hope to return to the lists and add generalists when I have a good source. New Mexico has hundreds of Dialictus and Perdita …

Edit: added Colorado Bombus

Sorry to be uninformed but when you talk about specialists and generalists, what does that mean?

Pollen preferences of the female bees* collected for nests. Any species that visits the same plant (family down to species) is oligolectic.

*Can’t forget Masarinae wasps

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Also, this is mostly in reference to bees vs. wasps.

Should we be adding historical records of species that haven’t been observed in quite some time? e.g., Bombus affinis in places where it’s been extirpated. I can scour the UNH Insect Collection for species not found in contemporary surveys if so. There already looks to be a few species added to New Hampshire that have no contemporary records, and without knowing the source for the historical records, I don’t want to remove them from the list.
I will also search through BugGuide for species recorded on there and not here.

I’m unsure but have been conservative, e.g. not adding species which are listed as “doubtful but possible” for a state. I’d think add species even if they lack recent records, except if the species is known to be extirpated then don’t add it? Also, I think the “starting list” each state may have (for states no one has added species to) is simply the existing iNat records for that state.

Ok, I will keep it as is for now. In which case, the NH list can be added to this thread:
New Hampshire
Currently 274 species on the list. Sources used: Tucker & Rehan 2016, 2017, 2019, UNH Insect Collection, and BugGuide.
There are definitely a few that have been added by another user that do not have any records on iNat or elsewhere in the state, such as Bombus pensylvanicus and Habropoda laboriosa. They appear to come from historic GBIF records. However I’m not sure how I could do a taxon search by place on there to see everything I may have missed.
What I’m realizing is that even with everything, NH’s checklist is really lacking in some places, such as Colletidae, Melittidae, Triepeolus/Epeolus, and Melissodes. Wish we had coordinated statewide surveys like VT and NY.

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I wonder if iNat misidentifications which are verifiable (vs. RG) are also added to the list? As for GBIF it seems best to check each on GBIF to see if they’re reliable. Some old records are correct, or may be at least best to conservatively consider likely-to-possible. I wonder who the user is (Sam?). Also it seems Discover Life’s algorithm keeps some species options when a state is selected even if they’ve only been observed in nearby states (anticipating range expansions/unknown range limits?)

You can but it takes longer and is mostly based on searching the taxon first, then zooming in on the map, and viewing the table (“explore area”).

That’s true that most lists are probably non-exhaustive. I’d recommending checking out Maine for another comparison which was a good effort (Dibble et al. 2017).

There are a few records from both the papers and the GBIF which at this time I’ve opted not to include because they’re quite… unlikely and highly rare - not that I doubt the lab I worked in! But I’d feel better with some direct verification of those records first - things like Lasioglossum hemimelas and L. disparile which are way out of range.
It looks like there’s been more than one user adding to the NH list. They’re species that I don’t doubt could potentially be found in the state, given that our surveys have been so sparse, but certainly there’s no recent records to confirm it.

Oh, I see. I’m unsure, you’ve looked into the NH fauna more so far. One thing I’d add is if we have “too many” species it’s less of a problem vs. having too few. For example if someone thinks there’s only 5 species in genus that has 7, vs. thinking there’s 7 species in a genus that actually has 5. It’s helpful to do a critical review of the species as you are too. When I added large lists, there were some mismatches (different spellings or species which iNat. couldn’t find even in “search external databases”). So, the familiarity with what a species should be or whether it’s likely to occur there definitely helps. Also for you and anyone else, some authors are going to email spreadsheet file species lists for additional states. Some I may add, some I could pass on to anyone interested to add.

Agreed! I will continue to chip away at other sources like well-known collectors’ photos and comments that I guess have not made it onto DiscoverLife or GBIF (Michael Veit comes to mind for the northeast). The NH list sits at 279 right now, which is quite a bit more than was estimated by Rehan et al previously, who placed it around 215. Yet, it’s obvious how many gaps exist, seeing as there are only five Melissodes species I could dig up, and not a single list contained Melissodes bimaculatus, astoundingly, even though it’s just as common here as anywhere else.
I’ve also decided to go through and add some species that only have historic records, from at least the mid-20th century. I marked Bombus affinis as absent, so it’s on the list but doesn’t show up unless you specify absent species. I am being picky though, since as I mentioned there’s a handful in collections or GBIF records that seem quite odd, and some aren’t backed up by data points in DiscoverLife. Who knows.
Folks, if you’re in the area, go hunt for bees in New Hampshire! :sweat_smile: Surely if VT can come up with such a comprehensive list with their own statewide surveys (thanks to @beeboy ), those bees are also here in the Granite state…

An added note here at 1:30pm: to the anonymous site admin that’s adding species to the NH list just now, maybe we can join forces here, as it seems you’re finding records I haven’t! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I’m undecided so far about doubtful or extirpated records. There are categorization options which can be used, e.g. inactive status. All the lists I’ve worked with so far have been active spp.

Wow, I wouldn’t expect M. bimaculatus to be missing either. Also, egordon88 is adding specialists to some states, unsure if that’s what’s adding to the NH list.

Yes, probably me. The specialist bees site has hyperlinks to, so we can verify maps/records ourselves. If any are erroneous, I’m happy to delete, but I trust Sam Droege has good data.

Ah, then yes that’s probably what I’m seeing. I did reference Fowler & Droege’s site for potential species, but a few seemed dubious/singletons in NH like Osmia coloradensis (I think that was the only one I deleted from the NH list), so I didn’t add them myself, not that I doubt they could be here. I’ve been leaving off species that have a single, 50+ years old record for the most part, but I’m open to whatever way folks want the lists to be composed!

Ah, I see there are a few east coasts records of this species on GBIF and DL. I don’t know beyond that about reliability, yet.

I’m not doubting that one, but it was one record in 1960, and I just wasn’t sure if I should be including every single species that has ever been collected even once (and how far back? some have not been documented since the 1920s). It’s not really my place to doubt any records as I have no way of denying nor confirming IDs made by anyone else present or past. Just not sure, for these checklists, what constitutes being probably present in the state. This problem is of course exacerbated for states where sampling has been sparse and/or location-biased, because it’s hard to know if that single specimen was a fluke or vagrant, or if it’s a regularly-occurring species that would be detected more if more surveys were being done at all…
Anyway, sorry, I don’t mean to clog this thread with my musings! I’m stressing out like it’s going in a published journal or something haha.

In my continuing search for NM bee resources, I found this article with some recently described Epeolus species. I submitted a flag for the missing species on iNat and I’m excited to add these to some of the checklists, because NM gains 6 species :slightly_smiling_face:. I put together a rough table from the range descriptions and maps in the article, so I can eventually update all the checklists bit by bit. It’s a nerdy way to pass some time and learn a few things.

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Hi all, I’m trying out this checklist thing and ran into a couple of general questions. I saw some older threads but they all seem to be closed, so I hope it’s ok to ask them here since there seem to be some knowledgeable people involved. I hope to also be able to contribute a bee list if I can get access to the data needed! I’m not sure if it’s published yet but I know of an ongoing project in my area.

One question I had was regarding the info for each taxon - description, occurrence status, and establishment means. What exactly should go into the description field? I tried looking at some other checklists and it seems this is typically left blank, or maybe I’m missing where this description would show up on the site.

The others are pull-downs, so pretty self-explanatory. How would you handle records listed as historical (e.g. status SH) or extirpated (SX). Present, absent, doubtful? Should they be included on a checklist at all?

Another question I had is on using the checklist to get suggestions while identifying. Is this just pulling from the main checklist for the location, or does it include any specialized checklists that have been created as well? In other words, if there are species on a specialized checklist but not the default checklist because they haven’t been observed in that location yet, would they be offered as suggestions?

Also, I noticed that it appears to only offer suggestions for species that are included in the most recent computer vision model, regardless of whether they are on a checklist or not. Is that correct, or should I be doing something differently to also see suggestions not yet in CV?

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