Phenocolletes , f, australia, side

close up of image

Detailed Description

Phenacolletes mimus, Australian Shorthair, specimen collected by Laurence Packer in AustraliaIn the dry, sparsely populated portions of Western Australia one can find the Australian Shorthair. While it is a pollen collecting bee, it has very short hairs, making it similar to some of the short, thick bodied waspy relatives of bees. This species seems to collect pollen only from large Hibiscus-like flowers of an endemic Australian plant called Alyogyne . The males appear to spend almost their entire adult lives on these flowers, presumably mating with any visiting females. Almost every patch of the flowers on Laurence 's expedition yielded some of these bees, even those in towns. Each plant produces numerous flowers, each flower is loaded with pollen, so it is possible that even a small plant population can provide enough food to maintain a population of its own pollinators. 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: 4760 x 2834

Date Taken: