Neon cuckoo bee

This pretty bee was photographed by my neighbour, Amanda, in her backyard. It’s the neon cuckoo bee, Thyreus notidulus.

Neon cuckoo bee; photo by Amanda Pawski

Neon cuckoo bee; photo by Amanda Pawski

It’s a native bee, about the same size as the European honey bee, and does sting (Amanda was stung on the foot). Many of our native bees don’t.

It parasitises the nests of another native bee, the blue-banded bee, Amegilla cingulata. A. cingulata burrows in the ground and lays each egg in a separate cell, packing them with pollen food provisions. T. notidulus slips in before the cell is sealed and lays its own egg. The cuckoo bee’s larva hatches before the blue-banded’s and eats the pollen, starving the blue-banded. Australian Geographic has an article about this behaviour.

It’s a jungle out there.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Animals on land, Insects and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Neon cuckoo bee

  1. Betty says:

    Nasty little critter for such a beautiful one.

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