Chiasmognathus cf gussakovskii, u, tadjikistan, face

close up of image

Detailed Description

Chiasmognathus c.f. gussakovskii, Cross Mandibled Bee, specimen collected by Wojciech Pulawksi in TajikistanVery small bees have very small nest parasites. In this case the very small mini-bees in the genus Nomioides which do collect pollen and nectar, also have their very own super small (2-4mm) mini-mini-bees that raid their nests and leave eggs behind to hatch, kill the host 's larvae and live off the left-behind supplies. The Cross Mandibled Bee is so named for the unusual position of its mandibles in cross-wise fashion rather than the usual bee model of simply overlapping towards the tips. It is unclear what the use of the mandibles in these positions might be. Cross Mandibled Bees are difficult to find, they spend little time on flowers , are, as was mentioned, incredibly tiny and usually can only be found near the nests of their host, which are also difficult to find, where they fly around looking for access to nests. Thus our expectation is that over time and, as people look for these things, more nests of Nomioides will be found and with that, more Cross Mandibled Bees. Indeed, since they were first recognized as attacking their specific Nomioides hosts, new species of Cross-Mandibled bees have been found every year and they are now known from the Mediterranean, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Sri Lanka and both Western and Eastern Africa "“ though the species from the latter region have not yet been formally described. 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: 2844 x 2388

Date Taken: