Category: biml

I really should take more pictures of ants. …

I really should take more pictures of ants. Here is the lovely Red Carpenter Ant (Camponotus chromaiodes) from Chino Farms on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Bee biologists all struggle with identifying…

Bee biologists all struggle with identifying what they catch. Its irritating that, even under a microscope, it is difficult to tell many species apart. Here is an example…but it does have a “tell." 

Megachile pseudobrevis has extensive black hairs at the tip of the underside of the abdomen while M. brevis has almost entirely white hairs. There you go. This specimen from Georgia. This shot by Kamren Jefferson.

Anthidium maculifrons from Fort Matanzas a sma…

Anthidium maculifrons from Fort Matanzas a small National Monument on the coast of Florida. Its nice to see that many National Monuments and Historic Parks retain a lot of nature, not just parking lots and non-native vegetation. Here is one high value Anthidium, the only one in the Southeast that is native. May that remain the case. Photo by Kamren Jefferson.

Osmia georgica.  

Osmia georgica.  

Nests in holes.  

Hangs out on mid summer composites.  

Has orange pollen carrying hairs.  

Has boss knobs on the upper side of the mandibles (why?).  

This specimen found on Dave Wagner’s  transmission line study  in New England by Michael Veit.  

All good.  

Aptly named:  Lasioglossum coeruleum.  

Aptly named:  Lasioglossum coeruleum.  

Most of the many confusing members of these small sweat bees glimmer discretely in metallic integument, but our friend here takes it up a notch to and Osmia level.  

This makes them identifiable…except for the problem that some of them are not so bright…irritating if you have to identify them…but once you get the pattern you feel a small sense of superiority to those in power in the world who clearly would fail if you asked them to identify an “off” L. coeruleum specimen. So there.  Specimen collected by Michael Veit in transmission lines in CT…

Female Macropis ciliata from NH.

Female Macropis ciliata from NH.

Collected by Michael Veit on transmission lines…part of a David Wagner study of bees and transmission.  

This bee is special.  Not as common as it once was and a specialist on Lysimachia (Loosestrife) natives.  These plants produce oils that the Macropis add to their pollen balls for their babies.  No Lysimachia…no Macropis.  

Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus.  

Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus.  

A common co-inhabitant with human nests.  In this case a Wren made a nest in a tub of rags we had outside under a shed roof.  We watched it for a while, but then found the tub also had a Black Rat Snake and the nest was mysteriously abandoned.  We took a picture of the left over egg….lovely in its speckles laid down in the birds oviduct.  Kelly Graninger took the shot.

Pseudopanurgus rugosus, collected by the glori…

Pseudopanurgus rugosus, collected by the glorious State of Virginia Natural Heritage group.  

This whole group is a bit of a nightmare.   

Uncommon, tiny, often very similar looking and widely ignored by taxonomists.  I often have to leave them as sp….or as we say ‘spuh’.  Which is not something that should be happening in this modern sophisticated, send-a-man-to-the-moon, sort of society.  But it is.  P. rugosus...not so difficult.  Has ‘rugged’ topography on its back…thus its name.

One of the most common bees in Eastern North A…

One of the most common bees in Eastern North America, particularly in urban and disturbed environments.  

They are attracted to piles of dirt or open scraped soils and appear to be a huge fan of clovers, plants that also favor lawns and open disturbed sites.   The female (look it up) mirrors most other small, dark bees in that group, with a few white marks on its lower face.  

The male Calliopsis andreniformis pictured here is spectacularly different.  Brilliant yellow to an exhibitionistic level.  This one comes from Baltimore City.  

Kruger National Park presents a native South A…

Kruger National Park presents a native South African:  Xylocopa lugubris.  

This carpenter bee was caught cruising around the park while along on Jonathan Mawdsley and James Harrison’s expedition.  Lots of fun avoiding poisonous snakes, lions, and leopards and other big things.  Photo by Erick Hernandez.