bee 09856e08,m, thailand, angle

close up of image

Detailed Description

Ctenoplectra, Unknown Blue-tailed Oil Mopping Bee, collected in Thailand by the Thailand Inventory Group for Entomological ResearchAnother Oil Mopping Bee, this an Asian one from Thailand rather than from Africa . Here is a good shot of the large scraper or comb this female has on her hind tibia. This comb is used after visiting flowers to remove floral oils that collect in specialized hairs located on the underside of the bee 's abdomen. In addition to the unusual oil-collecting modifications, this genus has been difficult to classify because of its tongue . As we have seen, bees can be broadly classified into Long- and Short-Tongued families based upon details of the structure of the mouthparts (not simply how long they are). Ctenoplectra has the short-tongued morphology, but has other characteristics that seem to suggest that it is actually more closely related to Long-tongued bees. So different is this genus from all other bees in the world that at one point it was placed in its own family. However, detailed study of morphology and molecules revealed its true affinities and the genus was moved into the family Apidae which contains many other genera of bees. 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: 3219 x 3494

Date Taken: