Good afternoon everyone, as my island friends would say.
I have good news to report from St-Croix! Just from surveying two farms, yesterday, we found two new bees, previously unrecorded to the island. One, the large, extremely conspicuous Xylocopa mordax (you may recall me saying this in one of my first posts). This beautiful bee is also found in Puerto Rico. It’s the one I tried to record and take pictures of..well success today!
I really don’t know how anyone could miss seeing this bee…It’s even in the bee collection at the university which dates back to the 1980s. Anyways, X. mordax is on the island, and actually likes to forage in the same plant we spotted it on, in Puerto Rico.
Along with the extremely conspicuous X. mordax, we collected a very inconspicuous Lasioglossum bee. I don’t know what it is yet, or even if it’s native to the island. But this it what the beauty looks like. Not, the photo was taken through a microscopose lense.
I’m not sure how many other bees have yet to be found on the island, but if I was able to find two in a day, and just in the central part of the island, I’m sure there are at least a few more! There’s a ‘rainforest’ here…might be interesting to see what’s there…maybe during my next trip. Still one and a half more days to go! Wish me luck!
***There are actually THREE new bees*** A third one was collected in an agricultural field that had had a fire in the surrounding trees.
Megachile lanata is has now also been found on the island.