Category: bugs

25 Facts about Bees for World Bee Day. Here …

25 Facts about Bees for World Bee Day. Here is our jpg version…we also have hi-res poster printable pdf and ppt versions along with original individual posts from last year at: ftp://ftpext.usgs.gov/pub/er/md/laurel/Droege/25%20Facts%20Bees/
Pass along and do 1 good thing for bees today.

Yes Orange Hair. A Centris species from the …

Yes Orange Hair. 

A Centris species from the Dominican Republic. This is probably identified by now, by don’t have the time to match ID to picture at this point. Photograph from Kamren Jefferson.

Hand Sanitizer. Very useful for floating tin…

Hand Sanitizer. 

Very useful for floating tiny insects. 

Particularly if you put them in a cuvette and take their picture like this small leaf beetle sort of thing from Dominican Republic. Am thinking we need to get back to doing some of these shots for small beautiful insects.

Did you know that you can identify Dragonfli…

Did you know that you can identify Dragonflies by their sheds?

Yes you can.

And, along rivers you can collect their sheds and create quite the monitoring program. This specimen of Tramea carolina (Carolina Saddlebags) and such a monitoring program were both found by Richard Orr. Photo by Ben Walsh.

Ugly Bee…For sure, but an interesting o…

Ugly Bee…For sure, but an interesting one. 

 Brooke Goggins took this one on a grayish background to highlight the wings of this Andrena nasonii.   T

his specimen was collected by Gabriel Karns as part of a study of rights of way in eastern Ohio.  We noticed that it has some funny vein business going on. Look at the wing, on the outer edge the last cell towards the tip is called the marginal cell (because it is on the margin) below that are what appears to be 2 or so cells…these are sub-marginal cells.  However, in this species there should be 3 not 2 sub-marginals.  You can see that the veins that would fraction off the additional cell are either partial or just a stub on each side.  Gene Scarpulla just published a paper on the topic…such things occur periodically in the bee world to add a layer of trickiness for us bee identifiers.

Another one of those metallic Lasioglossums in…

Another one of those metallic Lasioglossums in the Dialictus group….

so similar until you look at them under the microscope …

where they continue to look so similar.  

It is a world of nuance to us, but somehow many Lasioglossum species evolve, do different things, partition the sexual universe and become species.  I am so grateful to get to know this tiny part of the universe .. .a place veiled to me for most of my life and now I have been given a small look at what seems to be infinite complexity.   This bee is from coastal St. John’s County in Florida.  Photo by Kamren Jefferson.  

Oh, yes, this is L. tamiamense.

Bees Learn to Drive Very Small Cars.

Bees Learn to Drive Very Small Cars.

Scientists capitalized on recent revelations that bees are a lot smarter than previously thought.  In addition to being able to count and solve simple puzzles USGS scientists at the Patuxent Native Bee Lab have taught bees to driver miniaturized automobiles.  Using rewards such as flower smoothies and honey laced with addictive pollens, bees were gradually induced to drive in order to continue receiving their rewards.  The study came to an unfortunate ending when one of the lab assistants was overwhelmed by angry bees who felt that the researchers were holding back on their pollen loads.   Future plans are in the work to use less coercive methods and talks are in progress with several bee advocacy groups.    For release on April 1, 2019k  Photo by Brooke Goggins

A couple of shots of Andrena asteris.  

A couple of shots of Andrena asteris.  

Turns out the species is, indeed, an aster specialist.  Not particularly common, unless you spend a lot of time looking at asters.  If you spend a lot of time looking at willows then good luck finding this species Kiddo.  Photo by Wayne Boo.

The white-margined burrower bug.  

The white-margined burrower bug.  

Scientifically we would call it Sehirus cinctus.  

Small, feeds on mints and nettles.  Not picky, feeds on the weedy mints that inhabit our weedy lawns.  Sticks around a bit and helps its babies out for a few days.  Unusual for a bug.  Picture by Greta Forbes.  This specimen found at the lab at Patuxent.  I like the patterns of pits on this guy.

A leafhopper.

A leafhopper.

Or something related to a leafhopper.

That happened to show up in our bycatch at the lab (Laurel, Maryland).  Arrayed in such a lovely way, we were compelled to take its picture.  I would love to have someone come in with leafhopper specimens, or hunt them on the refuge, so we could photograph fresh material.  I would also love some help identifying this specimen.  Thanks.