Category: eyes

Check out the large ocelli on this bad boy.   This is Lasioglossum texanum, a dusk loving bee that is out late when the Oenothera (evening primroses) bloom.  This is a male, and was found in South Dakota in Badlands National Park.    

This is picture 2 from a 12 picture invited series by Matt Buffington ( at the USDA Parastitic Hymentoptera group using specimens from the U.S. Natural History Museum Smithsonian. 

Matt uses a system very similar to ours to photograph and stack this super tiny wasp.

This native of the Rift Valley in Africa is called Anacharoides.  Like Aspicera, these wasps attacked aphid-feeding syrphid larvae.  However, we don’t know what the peculiar protrusion on the top of the wasp is for….defense, perhaps?

Another mid-summer Colletes from the central prairies.  

Note the “cute” face with the inner edges of the eyes converging towards the mouth.  

For some reason this automatically makes a bee cute compared to the standard bee face format that most species display.  I am note sure of the preferences of this species but many Colletes use pollen from only a small number of plants.  Biodiversity …check.  Pictures by Anders Croft.

Colletes kinkaidii

Sexy Cerambycid beetles from Kruger National Park Genus:  


Check how the eye wraps around the antennae and peeks out atop the head.  Makes those plain old round vertebrate eyes seem limiting.  Photograph by Anders Croft.  

A male Lasioglossum truncatum, with great, long antennae, the yellow tarsal segments are distinctive in conjunction with the yellow on the clypeus and the slightly weakened veins in the wings.  Collected by Tim McMahon and photoed by Dejen Mengis.  Here I see the hands of a Balinese dancer

Another unknown jumping spider from Upper Marlboro, this one is only a few mm long, lots of wonderful things live complictated lives at the scale of a few mm

Canon Mark II 5D, Zerene Stacker, Photographer: Sam Droege, 65mm Canon MP-E 1-5X macro lens,  Twin Macro Flash,  F5.0,  ISO 100,  Shutter Speed 200

The luscious greenescent caterpillar of the brown drab northern pearly eye butterfly.  check out the 6 little eyes located down near the mouth/mandibles, I feel rather “Hello Kitty” when looking this one in the face

A Japanese Bee in America.  

This is Anthophora villosula.
 An Anthophora (Digger Bee) that was introduced in the 80s to Eastern U.S. for agricultural purposes, but its potential was never realized.  

Now, unfortunately, it is a common and spreading alien species dispersing from its original location in the Washington D.C. area and will likely spread to occupy much of the country at some point.  It can be found nesting in the dry dirt under decks, in upturned root masses and in the earthen plaster of strawbale houses such as our bee biologist’s Sam Droege’s, where it nests by the hundreds.  It does favor the “alien” plant community over the natives so it will be another interesting story to watch how it integrates and competes with the local bee fauna.  

Photographs by Brooke Alexander.

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Public Bee Servant, sam droege