Identification of Northeastern Nomada Workshop

Nomada imbricate, female. Photo by Sam Droege




Course Dates:  March 16-18, 2014

Course Location:  University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Course Leaders:  Sam Droege (USGS, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center),

Sophie Cardinal, Ph.D (Canadian National Collection of Insects)

Course limit:  18 participants

Registration:  contact to register


Course Description:

The purpose of this advanced workshop is to teach participants to identify Nomada using online and published keys. The course will take place over three days and will consist of discussions on approaches to identification problems and microscope work. In particular, Sam Droege and Sophie Cardinal will share their experience separating tricky species pairs to supplement and clarify information available in print and online resources.

By the conclusion of the workshop students should have an improved understanding and confidence to more efficiently recognize Nomada species and to reliably separate tricky bee species pairs, allowing them to identify a greater proportion of their own material and to better prepare remaining specimens for further study by regional and global taxonomic experts.

Participants are encouraged to bring in Nomada specimens to study during the workshop, and can expect to make or confirm identifications for many of these. This will aid in building a reliably determined synoptic collection of the bee fauna in their area. Ideally, participants should attempt to identify a proportion of their material prior to the course to familiarize themselves with the structure of the keys and to determine which couplets they find difficult to interpret.

Students should bring:

  1. Microscope (a limited number will be available). Please indicate to us if you are unable to bring your   own.
  2. Light source (a desk lamp with a movable neck and an energy-saving light bulb is sufficient). A couple of fibre optic lights will be available.
  3. Specimens to identify.
  4. A laptop to link with online keys (internet access will be available).
  5. Coffee mug.
  6. Pen, paper, scissors (for taking notes and adding determination labels)
  7. A pillow may be needed for extra height. The desks in the lab are rather high making access to eye pieces a bit of a challenge.
  8. Extra specimens if you have some to share or swap.

Recommended reading/keys:




Who Should Attend: This is an advanced workshop and will not cover the basics. It is assumed participants have considerable experience with bee identification and are familiar with dichotomous keys and external bee anatomy.


To register or for further information contact Joan Milam (), University of Massachusetts – Amherst