I am delighted to see a blue band bee (Amegilla cingulata) for the very first time and she was gorgeous!Melbourne,Australia.
Thanks to RB member Jason Weigner for identifying this very pretty bee.
It has pale blue stripes on its abdomen instead of yellow. The male can be distinguished by the number of complete bands, having five as opposed to the females’ four.A. cingulata can grow to 10–12 millimetres (0.39–0.47 in). Its appearance includes a golden brown head with bulging eyes that have multiple lenses. They have six sticky legs and a long tongue to help extract nectar from flowers. Scientists believe that male bees have brighter blue stripes to attract female bees.
Both sexes have a dart-and-hover flight pattern.
Blue-banded Bees have a liking for blue and purple flowers but will visit flowers with other colours.
Blue-banded bees specialise in an unusual sort of flower pollination called ‘buzz pollination’. Normally flowers release pollen passively, but some species are specially designed to be pollinated by ‘buzz pollinators’ that grab onto the flowers and vibrate them quickly to release the pollen.
These bees are very important for the production of food and contribute to at least 30% of crops in Australia.
Best viewed large.
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Tamron 90mm macro lens