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Old 07-08-2012, 01:25 PM   #1
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Default bee or wasp?

This guy was big, you can tell size vs the echinacea bloom he/she is on. My first thought was wasp, but it is quite hairy, more like a bee. I spent some time on bugguide and Tom Murray's pages and couldn't id it. Suunto (if you are back from caving) or Gloria, do you know what it is?
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bee or wasp?-bee-id-1-web.jpg   bee or wasp?-bee-id-1-2-web.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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Bee, maybe an anthophora.They are large bees. There are so many thousands of solitary bees out there. I have been learning the bumbles but many other bees are beyond anything but a guess on my part. Did you try bugquide ,they are very good.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:08 AM   #3
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This guy was big, you can tell size vs the echinacea bloom he/she is on. My first thought was wasp, but it is quite hairy, more like a bee. I spent some time on bugguide and Tom Murray's pages and couldn't id it. Suunto (if you are back from caving) or Gloria, do you know what it is?
This is a flower wasp (Hymenoptera: Scoliidae) in the genus Campsomeris - see Scoliid Wasp - Campsomeris plumipes - BugGuide.Net for an example. They are parasitic on the larvae of ground-inhabiting scarab beetles, such as June beetles/may bugs.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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Thanks again, suunto. Are you already back from spelunking?

I always thought that bees were hairy, but wasps were not. I guess there is an exception to every rule.

Just for fun, and to prove I have this wasps host species happily living in my yard, a green June beetle, eating mashed banana put out to attract sap-loving butterflies.

bee or wasp?-green-june-beetle-cotinis-nitida-web.jpg
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:14 AM   #5
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Thanks again, suunto. Are you already back from spelunking?

I always thought that bees were hairy, but wasps were not. I guess there is an exception to every rule.
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The cave trip was relatively short - we were out by 8:30 PM - but it was gnarly - surveying in very tight, wet, muddy, and twisting passage. Only managed to survey a little more than 200 feet.
As for hairiness in bees vs. wasps - there are some bees known as cuckoo bees that appear virtually hairless and are quite wasp-like in appearance. One key difference is that only bees have forked or plumose hairs; wasps only have simple, unbranched hairs.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
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I will have to super zoom in on all my bee photos from now on and see if their hairs are forked or plumose - I have never heard of plumose but assume it means something like feathery.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
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I have never heard of plumose but assume it means something like feathery.
True, but in this instance, the term can include hairs just having 'split ends'...
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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I'll have to tell that to my daughter! At 16, she is busily torturing her hair with dyes, bleaches, and other strange substances. She put some weird "alpha keratin" treatment on without reading the warnings and split her hair up about six inches per strand. "Plumose" sounds much better than frizzed out!
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