Category: leaf-cutter



Life of solitary bees is one of inner contemplation, most of your life will be in a completely dark cell waiting for your phenological alarm clock to go off telling you that it’s time to go out in the world. 

Once you start flying your amazingly designed wings begin to chip and fray on their edges as they hit vegetation and the ground. Ultimately they wear out and you either are eaten or you simply can no longer fly… And then are eaten.

The most common Coelioxys in the East.  

The most common Coelioxys in the East.  

This is C. sayi.   

Now, C. sayi is a nest parasite (like all Coelioxys) and it likes to drop its eggs in the nest of what is usually the most common Leaf Cutter in the East Megachile mendica.  That said, these bees are so little studied that it would not be at all surprising to find that are also  dropping eggs in similar hosts such as M. brevis

These bees are well armored against the stings of the hunky leaf cutters, to the extent that putting a pin through them when preparing them can be a bit crunchy (Another cocktail fact from your favorite government program).  Pictures by Dejen Mengis whose experiences in the Bee Lab caused him to join the Peace Corp.  

A sharp looking Megachile from Yosemite Nation…

A sharp looking Megachile from Yosemite National Park.  

Megachile melanophaea is a bee that runs all across the arctic, the northern parts of the East and down the mountains in the West.  Unlike many northern species is does not seem to be interested in the Appalachians.   While I don’t know about all its various looks across its range in the Northeast it mostly have black pollen carrying hairs with a smallish patch of ochre/orange hairs….this specimen, though, is much more extensively in the burnt orange color universe…a nice look I think.  Part of Claire Kremen’s project in the higher elevations of Yosemite National Park in California.

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