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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

As green as can be

On 25 August 2013, I encountered another fascinating native bee.  Below is the first one I saw emerging from a burrow in the ground:

There were several other bees nearby, hovering over the grassland vegetation and occasionally landing and disappearing underground.  I didn't have the best lens with me at the time, but I think these pictures still show off the brilliant colors of this species.

After a few minutes, I realized that a few bees were much faster than the others.  They were difficult to follow, zipped around very quickly in the vicinity of the other bees, and then disappeared.  

Eventually I managed a few pictures of these faster individuals.  They're blurry (these bees were in flight), but you can still make out the general color pattern:

After doing a little research, I'm pretty sure this is a type of Green Sweat Bee in the genus Agapostemon.  Two species in this genus have been recorded on Bodega Head (A. femoratus and A. texanus), so I'll have to inquire about how to tell them apart.  

The first individuals I photographed (all green) are the females, while the second type with the yellow-and-black striped abdomens are the males. 

It's going to take a while, but I'm slowly working my way through photographing all of the local bees.  Do you have a guess about how many species of bees have been recorded on Bodega Head?  (The answer is below the next picture.)

48 species of bees have been recorded on Bodega Head!  The list is available here.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

An audible "whoa!" escaped me when I got to the number of bees on Bodega Head. It's not even a place I think of as being particularly "bee-y." Whoa.