Category: insects

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…

Powerlines.  

Powerlines.  

Or more accurately transmission corridors.  

Now one of the few places that open country forb communities exist in many parts of the East.  Often seen as a blight, they if not mown or sprayed to death, are places of refuge for many rare bees.  Over the next few days you will see several rarities from a study that David Wagner created with specimens, like this one collected by the bee whisperer of New England Michael Veit.  Oh, this is Triepeolus obliteratus….rare, but with the nice character of having only 2 rather than 3 submarginals…(thus the “obliteratus” part of the name)

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.  

This lovely Heriades carinata is only maxima…

This lovely Heriades carinata is only maximally enjoyed when seen at full def from our flickr site. 

Print it out about 3 feet on edge and then you will really enjoy the armor this Amazon sports. 

Her glossy ebony plates have arrays of machined divots, each uniquely sized, but in relationship with the surrounding pits such that spacing and sizes array in flowering topographies of power functions that mates art and form in a perfect union. Add bands of thick ermine hairs, accenting strands of hair with a well pool of a black eye so removed from our reality that you now know that aliens commingle. Oh, this little being was found outside the sound stage of Wolf Trap Park in Virginia.

The next in the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN…

The next in the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN.  

Calliopsis are often specialists…the most common (C. andreniformis) loves things like hard packed playgrounds.  You have it at your house almost for sure.  Want more of them dig a whole or pile up dirt and they will move in for you to watch…along with their wee Holcopasites parasite. 

Agapostemon Male Field Id … Baby

Agapostemon Male Field Id … Baby

The giant bumblebee (Bombus dahlbomii). 

The giant bumblebee (Bombus dahlbomii). 

A denizen of the southern Andes and widely believed to be in decline due to competition and perhaps spread of pathogens with two introduced European bumblebees that have invaded the region. You notice this bee when it flies by. Dramatically orange with yellow highlights on the traditional deep black integument of bumblebees.

Brown Lacewing, Symperhobius species? Note the…

Brown Lacewing, Symperhobius species? Note the very lovely carved brass mesh eye, Beltsville, Maryland

Andrena cressonii.

Andrena cressonii.

Common, nearly ubiquitous.  Tolerates urban areas.  Just like us.