Invertebrate Amegilla spp. (Blue-banded Bee)

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Scientific Name: Amegilla spp.

Common Name(s): Blue-banded Bee

Other Names:

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Apidae

Genus: Amegilla

Species: A. spp. ?cingulata

Distribution: Australia wide

Habitat: Rainforest edges, open forest, woodland desert and gardens.

Field Notes: Head and thorax golden hairs, abdomen banded with black and pale blue. Male has 5 blue bands, females have only 4. The males have the abdomen tip segment in blue while the female has this segment reduced. Clusters of sleeping males cling to twings or grass stems overnight. Females are solitary, each building their own nest, however will build nests in the same area. Fight pattern is dart-and-hover which is faster and more jerky that the common Honey Bees. Native to Australia. Size 10 - 15 mm

Note: Can sting but not aggressive.
Warning - if symptons indicate onset of allergic reaction seek urgent medical advice.

Photo by Dusty, Feb 2012. Location: South Burnett

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Female Blue Banded Bee identified by 4 bands. See field notes.

References:
Brisbaneinsects.com
Queensland Museum (2007). Wildlife of Greater Brisbane.
Zborowski & Storey (2010). Field Guide to Insects in Australia Wildlige of Greater Brisbane
 
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Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Great shots Dusty.
I could never get them to hold still long enough for a decent shot.
Apparently very important in the pollination of some crops (tomatoes etc.) as they uniquely 'buzz' the flowers to
release the pollen.
 

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Yes its pretty amazing and they are the only bee to do this. Apparently they vibrate the pollen out of the flower by curling their bodies around the flower and rapidly vibrating the flight muscles causes the pollen to shoots out of the flower capsules.
 

Becki

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Amegilla sp (Blue Banded Bees)

Scientific Name: Amegilla spp.

Common Name(s): Blue-banded Bee

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Apidae

Tribe: Apinae

Genus: Amegilla

Species: cingulata

Distribution: Found throughout most of Australia but is not known in Tasmania or the Northern Territory.

Habitat: Urban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.

Field Notes: Blue bands across its black abdomen and because of its darting, hovering flight pattern.
Builds a solitary nest, but often close to one another. It prefers soft sandstone to burrow in, and areas of this type of rock can become riddled with bee tunnels. It also likes mud-brick houses and often burrows into the mortar in old buildings. Cells at the end of the tunnel contain an egg with a pollen/nectar mixture for the emerging larva.

Source: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Common-Blue-banded-Bee/




Photos Taken by Becki @ Mt Annan Australian Botanic Gardens January 2012
 
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