1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop web-based interactive keys to bee species for bee genera occurring in the United States. Generation of user-friendly guides for bee identification will make pollination studies accessible to researchers, educators, and amateurs alike. Utilize keys to identify large bee samples resulting from ongoing bee faunal studies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
For each bee genus, determine the morphological character set that will uniquely identify all species in the genus. Include redundant characters to make determinations more robust. Illustrate characters to ensure accurate recognition of key characters. Add distributional information as a further filter. Enter these species/character matrices into web-based interactive keys. Test and refine keys using accurately identified specimens.
The goal of this project is to develop interactive, web-based keys to the approximately 4,000 species of bee pollinators inhabiting America north of Mexico. Generation of user-friendly guides for bee identification will make pollination studies practical for researchers, educators, and amateurs alike. Because the U.S. National Pollinating Insects Collection has one of the best representations of North American bees it provides the reference material essential to developing such keys. During FY2008 keys were developed for three genera (Agapostemon, Ceratina, Halictus) that are commonly encountered on flowers and are available online at the DiscoverLife website. Keys for an additional six genera are ready for testing and three are in development. ADODR monitoring activities to evaluate research progress included visits, telephone calls, and emails with the cooperator and frequent interactions with the technician developing the guides.