12 days ago
46/1000 of #1000Species2019
Scientific name: Sphecodes pellucidus
Common name: Sandpit Blood Bee
Let's continue with the dangers that the A. vaga mining bees have to endure (see previous post) .
This is a very fascinating and rather small (females 8-10 mm and males 7-9 mm / F-0.31-0.39 in M-0.27-0.35 in) kleptoparasitic bee species.
Their hosts include at least Andrena dorsata, A. barbilabris, A. vaga and Lasioglossum leucozonium (hosts may vary depening on location) .
I found several S. pellucidus females flying around A. vaga nest sites and on one other area, but couldn't see which mining bee, or any other possible host, was nesting there.
Compared to the previous post species, N. lathburiana, the males, as far as I'm aware, do not help locating the host nesting sites, but otherwise the whole idea of this species offspring is the same. The female finds the host nests and lays her eggs in the nest and leaves.
The larvae of the S. pellucidus, if it happens to be the only kleptoparasitic larvae in the nest, will eventually kill the host larvae and eat its food storage.
These are more or less reserve/spare photos. I had bit of hard time trying to get photos of these females, due to their size, the fact that they don't land much or for long and don't really stay still for long either. And was trying not to step on the A. vaga nest entrances.
I did have more photos of one female specifically (the one on the 1, 3 and 4 pics, rest are different female, different area and day), but I had bit of an incident with my SD card and lost bit over 100 photos (several different species, some which I still haven't found again, went poof), including several actually great shots of that female, but oh well, these will do just fine.
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