rediviva, f, south africa, face

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Detailed Description

Rediviva species, Black Daddy Longlegs Oil Bee, collected in South Africa We showed the male is the female.What fantastically cool bees! These bees have extremely long front legs that they use to collect oil from plants, using the oil instead of nectar as food for the larvae. At the end of their legs are sponge-like patches of hairs. When flying these bees tuck their legs beneath their body and then extend them as they land on their flower. They do this instantaneously. It is like being able to get your arms into the sleeves of a sweater with absolutely no effort. There has been a close evolutionary relationship between the long-legged bees and their oil-bearing floral hosts. The oil is energetically expensive for plants to make and is housed at the end of paired floral spurs. Different species of plant have spurs of varying lengths, some with short spurs only require bee legs of normal length to reach the oil. Clearly this species visits flowers that have very long spurs. The entire range of intermediate leg and spur lengths can be found in these bees which are restricted to South Africa. 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: 4033 x 3515

Date Taken: