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habropoda excellens, m, ut, back

Detailed Description

Habropoda excellens, Three spotted Digger Bee, specimen collected by K. Moredock in Utah, USADigger Bees in the genus Habropoda occur around the world across middle northern latitudes and are usually plant specialists, collecting pollen from only a small number of all the plant species that might be available. While in this book we have talked about the numerous species of bees that lay their eggs in the nests of other bees to the ultimate demise of the nesting species ' egg or young, we haven 't mentioned all the other insects that also parasitize the nests of bees. One such group is Meloid Beetles, which can commonly be seen as adults lounging around on flowers. Unlike other grublike beetles, newly hatched Meloids are very mobile and because of that scientists were compelled to give this novel life stage the name triungulin.Triungulins from a Meloid species in California, USA cleverly produce the female pheromone of the Silver Digger Bee (Habropoda pallida), a more uniformly colored relative of our checkerboard species here. The triungulins gather together and form a bee-ish looking cluster at the end of a plant stem. A male bee, expecting an easy mating opportunity, alights on the mass and the triungulins jump on board. Traveling to an appropriate female bee next time and mating the not so cute little triungulins jump aboard the female for a ride back to her nest. At this point, friends, our lovely triungulins commence to slaughter and eat all the bee babies, set up house and eat all the bee food at their leisure. Good thing we have evolved out of this sort of thing"¦or have we? 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.


Public Domain.