Pasites maculatus, f, pakistan, side

close up of image

Detailed Description

Pasites maculatus, White-spotted Red Cuckoo Bee, specimen collected by Ron McGinley in PakistanTaxonomists have given plenty of Red Cuckoo Bees names, 23 globally to be exact, but only the White-spotted Red Cuckoo Bee has received much attention beyond the usual cataloging. Unlike almost all of its Red Cuckoo Bee relatives it does not live in Sub-Saharan Africa but in a wide band from Europe to the Pacific Coast of China. Jerry Rozen, who has devoted his long career to the study of the nesting behavior and biology of bees, excavated the nests of this species on an expedition to Pakistan with Ron McGinley who collected the bee pictured here on that trip.This species of bee actually makes no nest of its own, rather, it slips into the nest of another bee, which has already gone to the trouble of digging a nest in the ground and gathering provisions of nectar and pollen for its young. While the host is out, the White-spotted Red Cuckoo Bee inserts is egg quickly into the wall of the host 's nest, actually folding the egg in half during the process (ouch!). The young Red Cuckoo Bee later hatches and with large, scimitar-like mandibles assassinates the host egg or young larva, slashing it to pieces . Bees are so sweet! 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: 3726 x 3516

Date Taken: