Alocandrena porteri, f, side, peru

close up of image

Detailed Description

A pollinator of wild relatives of tomatoes, this species will alight upon and then vibrate tomato flowers using its wing muscles. These plants have cleverly hidden their pollen in tubular anthers that are primarily released when buzzed by bees at a certain frequency. Pollen is then released in a manner similar to how we get salt from a shaker and gathers on the bee 's hairy body. The bee then uses its front and middle legs to groom this loose pollen and packs it onto the hind legs to be taken back to the nest. During this process some pollen undoubtedly gets transferred to the pistils of other flowers to effect pollination. The sole member of its genus this bee is found only in the Andean Mountain foothills of Peru. About the size of a small Honey Bee, females of this species have only a vestigial sting, reduced so much that it is no longer functional, thereby rendering the bee completely harmless. Photography Information: Canon Mark II 5D, Zerene Stacker, Stackshot Sled, 65mm Canon MP-E 1-5X macro lens, Twin Macro Flash in Styrofoam Cooler, F5.0, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 200. USGSBIML Photoshopping Technique: Note that we now have added using the burn tool at 50% opacity set to shadows to clean up the halos that bleed into the black background from "hot" color sections of the picture.


Image Dimensions: 4161 x 3744

Date Taken: