Part Male: Park Female.
Here is a lovely example. In this case the intersex section is restricted to the head. This is a Nomada of the pygmaea group. pygmaea group indicates that this is probably a group of species, but….I can’t tell them apart. Long story. In any case, this cool specimen was found by Don Harvey in the sand area of Jug Bay Wetlands Reserve on the sand side of the Patuxent River in Maryland. It was flying with a big group of its normal compatriots who almost certainly were checking out the Andrena miserabilis nesting there and all were out for an early spring warm spell. Look at the picture…red side of the head is female, yellow/black is male. Female has 12 antennal segments, male – 13. Photos by Anders Croft.
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.
Gliding in from Costa Rica comes a moderately large, moderately green bee.
An Agapostemon nasutus.
There are a lot of the these bright green bees out there…Not just in C.R. but throughout the Americas. Beautiful, and once you start paying attention, quite common. But are there any songs written about them? No. Poems? Zero. Green Bee Secret Societies? Nope. This just seems wrong. Sorry, its late at night and am feeling the breath of native bee injustice. This series was taken by Kelly Graninger and Anders Croft. The bee, collected by our own Tim McMahon.
An uncommon nest parasite of the genus Osmia.
This one from Maine, where lots of Osmia hang out. Rarely found, but does this mean they are “rare”??? Probably not, likely there are thousands upon thousands produced each year across North America. We just aren’t paying attention. Sad. Photo by Brooke Alexander.
A new state record for Virginia.
This is Dianthidium simile.
A sand lover and found for the first time by the folks in Virginia Heritage Group. I believe it was found on Fort A.P Hill Army base. Military Bases are often great places for insects given that they are usually found on “bad” land not used for agriculture, don’t build on every square inch, and continue to train and disturb that areas without plowing them completely up. Case in point here. Photo by Erick Hernandez.
Go to Boston.
Go the harbor.
There in the harbor are a string of islands, very used and usually very small.
They have been made into a National Recreation Area, good, but not the Great Wilderness that would attract a lot of Thoreaus. But yet, there are plenty of bees out there and here is one.
This one is Triepeolus pectoralis, looking verrrrryyy Goth (enough of those prissy shiny metallic bees). It lays its eggs in the nests of Melissodes (also very Goth, since it ends up killing the Melissodes babies). Photo by Kamren Jefferson.
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.
Hey now here is a common bee from Kruger National Park, Meliturgula scriptifrons.
A smallish brown bee that are commonly caught in bowl traps. Part of the small number of genera in Andrenidae.
Photo by Kelly Graninger.
Here is a short 3 picture series of 3 Mylabris blister beetles from Kruger National Park, where they are often found on tree flowers.
I had the unfortunate experience of storing a bunch of these in my pocket while in the bush. Later that night my upper thigh was covered in large blisters. Be warned. Cool antennae, why so divided, some of you need to figure this out.
Pictures by Erick Hernandez and Anders Croft.