In this gallery, the magnificent colour patterns of native cuckoo bees (Thyreus) have been showcased by three talented photographers.
Erica Siegel contributed the following two superb cuckoo bee photographs to Aussie Bee:
Above: the blue spots on a cuckoo bee are patches of iridescent blue hair.
Above: cuckoo bees lay their eggs in the nests of blue banded bees.
And these three fabulous cuckoo bee photos were contributed by 'Peter O':
Above: this cuckoo bee is grooming itself with its legs
Above: this cuckoo bee is sipping nectar from a basil flower
Three common species of cuckoo bee are the Neon Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus nitidulus), the Chequered Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus caeruleopunctatus) and the Domino Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus lugubris).
The first two have blue spots, whilst the Domino Cuckoo Bee has white spots (see our Cuckoo Bee photo gallery). You can distinguish the Neon Cuckoo Bee and the Chequered Cuckoo Bee by the pattern of the spots on the abdomen. Compare the following two photos:
Kathleen Coffey captured this beautiful photo of a Chequered Cuckoo Bee. Notice that each row across the abdomen consists of four markings:
Above: the Chequered Cuckoo Bee
In comparison, as can be seen in the following 2011 photo by Erica Siegel, a Neon Cuckoo bee has only two blue markings in each row across its abdomen:
Above: the Neon Cuckoo Bee
© 1997-2011 Australian Native Bee Research Centre
PO Box 74, North Richmond NSW 2754, Australia