Random Insect: Metallic green bee

agapostemon

Metallic green bee (Hymenoptera: Halictidae: Agapostemon sp.) photographed 09/26/2013 near Palmyra, Michigan. An insidious flower bug (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae: Orius insidiosus) is also visiting this aster.

Metallic green bees (Hymenoptera: Halictidae: Agapostemon spp.) are found only the new world, but they range all the way from British Columbia to Argentina. Although there are over 4,000 known species of sweat bees, this particular subgroup contains only about 44 known species. Most are found in the tropical Americas, but about a dozen range into more temperate climates.

agapostemon3

Metallic green bee (Hymenoptera: Halictidae: Agapostemon sp.) photographed 09/26/2013 near Palmyra, Michigan.

Like many bees and wasps these individuals excavate tunnels in the ground to build their nests. Some species are communal and share resources to some extent, but others are completely solitary.

agapostemon2

Metallic green bee (Hymenoptera: Halictidae: Agapostemon sp.) photographed 09/26/2013 near Palmyra, Michigan.

Adults of both sexes feed on pollen and nectar from a wide variety of flowers. Females go out of their way to collect excess pollen in order to provision their subterranean nests. The pollen balls the mothers collect provide enough nourishment for their larvae to grow and develop until they pupate. Once their young emerge as adults, they’re on their own.

Advertisements

About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Entomology, Random Insect and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Random Insect: Metallic green bee

  1. Very interesting, the details you shared in each photo were wonderful…well done.

    Like

  2. Awesome post! These guys are such strangely-colored bees!

    Like

  3. Jeremy Sell says:

    The mix of a metallic green head and thorax with a striped black-and-yellow abdomen is certainly peculiar. A lot of other sweat bees are either mostly metallic or mostly striped/drab, not both.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s