Brachyhesma sulphurella, australia, side

close up of image

Detailed Description

Brachyhesma species, Australian Minute Bee, specimen collected in AustraliaLong: Until recently those who worked on the taxonomy of bees, or taxonomy in general for that matter, were men. Culturally that imbalance is now shifting, though we clearly still have a ways to go. Early female taxonomists were not unheard of however, and Australian Elizabeth Exley was a good example having described over 200 species of bees, working even after her retirement just for the joy of it. She described many of the 41 species of Minute Bees. Minutes Bees are just that, minute, some are as small as 2mm in length and all have a wan yellow base color to the integument of their exoskeleton . They are known to feed on the many species of plants in the Myrtle family in Australia, especially from Eucalyptus where hundreds of individuals can be obtained with a sweep net and an extremely long handle. These bees are a good example of the evolutionary radiation that occurred in the family Colletidae in Australia with bees ranging much larger than a honeybee down to less than 2 mm. 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.

Details

Image Dimensions: 3565 x 3070

Date Taken: