Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus sp., Apinae, Apidae)
This genus of bees parasitises other bees’ nests, i.e. they don’t build their own nests but lay their eggs in the nests of other bee species.
Apart from their brilliant colours, they also adopt this strange roosting behaviour as evening approaches, tightly grasping the ends of twigs and grass tips with their jaws to rest.
by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China
See more Chinese Hymenopterans (wasps, hornets, bees, ants and sawflies) on my Flickr site HERE…..
Eucalyptus macrocarpa is a very distinctive species having a mallee-type habit of growth and spectacular red flowers. There are two recognised subspecies; subsp macrocarpa is the most common form and is a small mallee of up to 4 metres in height while subsp. elachantha has a restricted occurrence south east of Geraldton. The latter differs from the common form in having smaller leaves and lower stature.
The foliage of E.macrocarpa attracts almost as much attention as the flowers. The leaves are ovate-elliptical in shape, sessile, up to 12 cm long by 8 cm wide and silvery-grey in colour.
The large flowers may be 100 mm in diameter and are usually bright red but pink-red forms are known. Flowering occurs from early spring to mid summer. The “gumnuts” which follow the flowers are also an interesting feature of the tree. They are very large and have a powdery grey covering.
As a species native to relatively dry areas, E.macrocarpa is best suited to cultivation in climates which have a dry summer. It has been grown in sub tropical districts but cannot be regarded as reliable in those areas. It has been observed growing and flowering in western Sydney. The species develops a lignotuber and should respond to hard pruning to near ground level if rejuvenation is required.
photo from Rare Plants
Nomia iridescens a Bee with colourful abdominal stripes
This cool bee, scientifically named Nomia iridescens, belongs to the Halictidae Family, a cosmopolitan group commonly referred to as halictid bees and sweat bees.
Nomia iridescens is a conspicuously banded bee with amazing neon-green stripes, which occurs in southeast Asia (India, Borneo, Peninsular malaysia, Philippines).
Sweat bees, play a vital role in the pollination ecology of a region. By having a wide range of adaptational capabilities, these inhabit all kind of ecological niches both in tropical and temperate regions. In number and kind these anthophilic insects (attracted to flowers) surpass all other bees and thus are mainly responsible for conserving the vegetation germplasm by pollinating a bewildering variety of wild and cultivated entomophilic flora.
Southern Festoon (Zerynthia polyxena)
…a striking species of Swallowtail butterfly (Papilionidae) which is widespread in middle in southern Europe, where it occurs in southeastern France, Italy, Slovakia, Greece, and the Balkans south to Kazakhstan and the Urals.
Adult southern festoons will fly from April to June and can typically be see in in open areas with abundant vegetation. Southern festoon larvae will feed on birthworts (Aristolochia spp.) and seem to prefer A. clematitis and A. rotunda. Birthworts are toxic making both the caterpillars and adults inedible.
Image: Jean Laurent Hentz