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Tarsalia persica, m, iran, face

Detailed Description

Tarsalia persica, Persian Asymmetric bee, collected in Iran. 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.Only seven species of Asymmetric Bees have been described, but they are poorly known, with few specimens and no nests having been discovered. They occur from the Mediterranean to India and are called Asymmetric Bees because of the male genitalia which have some parts more strongly developed on one side than the other. The reasons for this are unknown, but presumably, unlike the case with humans, females prefer asymmetrical males. This particular species is known only from Iran and unlike the other species we are aware of, the skin or integument of the exoskeleton is a lovely dark pink-red that offsets the bright white hairs. Asymmetric bees belong to a group that has a complicated geographic and taxonomic history. Melittologists (people who study bees) have long disagreed as to whether they are closely related to another Old World genus "“ the Short-Tongued Long-Tongued Bees from the Mediterranean Region (see page .). Recent research suggests that they are indeed closely related although all of the closest relatives to these two genera in combination are from North and South America. Furthermore, using modern analytical techniques, it seems that the ancestor of these bees moved into Western Europe from North America via a land bridge that existed intermittently when the planet was a lot warmer than it is now, around 52 million years ago.


Public Domain.