Thyreus nitidulus, commonly known as the neon cuckoo bee, is a parasitic bee of the genus Thyreus , called cuckoo bees. It is a stocky bee, notable for its brilliant metallic blue- and black-banded colors.
Thyreus is an Old World genus of bees, one of many that are commonly known as cuckoo bees, and are cleptoparasites of other species of bees, mostly in the genus Amegilla. They all have strongly contrasting patterns of coloration - three species from the Sydney region, Thyreus nitidulus, T. lugubris, and T. caeruleopunctatus are bright blue and black.
Originally described by Danish entomologist Johan Christian Fabricius in 1804 as Melecta nitidula – from a collection in the Aru Islands or northern Australia – it was given its current scientific name Thyreus nitidulus in 1959 by M. A. Lieftinck.The specific epithet is derived from the diminutive of the Latin adjective nitidus "shining" (i.e. "a little shiny").
Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.
Entomology is the scientific study of insects, a branch of zoology. In the past the term "insect" was more vague, and historically the definition of entomology included the study of terrestrial animals in other arthropod groups or other phyla, such as arachnids, myriapods, earthworms, land snails, and slugs. This wider meaning may still be encountered in informal use.
Johan Christian Fabricius was a Danish zoologist, specialising in "Insecta", which at that time included all arthropods: insects, arachnids, crustaceans and others. He was a student of Carl Linnaeus, and is considered one of the most important entomologists of the 18th century, having named nearly 10,000 species of animals, and established the basis for the modern insect classification.
Several subspecies are known - the nominate race T. n. nitidulus is found across eastern and northern Australia, specifically New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory, as well as New Guinea. Other species are found in Southeast Asia.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).
South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and fifth largest by population. It has a total of 1.7 million people, and its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second largest centre, has a population of 28,684.
Like all bees, the neon cuckoo bee is covered by furry, branched, flattened hair, which is responsible for both the black and blue colours. Pale blue hair covers much of the face on the head, as well as patches on the sides of the thorax and the legs. The abdomen is striped with bright blue and black, and the transparent wings are purple-tinged brown in colour. The bee is sturdy in build, with a reinforced thorax.
The female neon cuckoo bee seeks out the burrow nests of the blue-banded bee (Amegilla cingulata), and lays an egg into a partly completed brood cell while it is unguarded. The larval cuckoo bee then consumes the larder and later emerges from the cell.
Amegilla cingulata, commonly known as the blue-banded bee, is an Australian native bee that occurs in many other regions. Currently, several scientific organizations are conducting research on how the blue-banded bee benefits agriculture through its distinctive "buzz pollination". These bees are very important for the production of food and contribute to at least 30% of crops in Australia.
The Australian hornet, actually a type of potter wasp or "mason wasp", is a vespid insect native to the Australian states and territories of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. The Australian hornet is a solitary insect, forming small nests against buildings and other structures. The adult wasp feeds off flower nectar, while the larvae are fed caterpillars captured by the female.
Colotis amata, the small salmon Arab, is a small butterfly of the family Pieridae, that is, the yellows and whites. It is found in Africa and Asia.
Chrysolopus spectabilis is a species of weevil found in south-eastern Australia. It was discovered during James Cook's first voyage, and became the first insect to be described from Australia. The weevil measures up to 25 mm (1.0 in) long and includes distinctive metallic green and black scales. It is found only on 28 species of the plant genus Acacia.
Thopha saccata, commonly known as the double drummer, is the largest Australian species of cicada and reputedly the loudest insect in the world. Documented by the Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius in 1803, it was the first described and named cicada native to Australia. Its common name comes from the large dark red-brown sac-like pockets that the adult male has on each side of its abdomen—the "double drums"—that are used to amplify the sound it produces.
Thysanoplusia orichalcea, the slender burnished brass, is a moth of the family Noctuidae. The species was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1775. It is a polyphagous pest of vegetable crops that originated in Indonesia, from where it spread to Europe, South Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In northern Europe it is a migrant species.
Bombus campestris is a very common cuckoo bumblebee found in most of Europe.
Bombus insularis is a species of bumblebee in the subgenus Psithyrus, the cuckoo bumblebees. It is native to northern and western North America, where it occurs throughout Canada, Alaska, the northern United States, and some western states. It is known commonly as the indiscriminate cuckoo bumblebee.
Megachile fidelis, the faithful leafcutting bee, is a species of bee in the Megachile genus.
Amegilla bombiformis, commonly known as the teddy bear bee or golden haired mortar bee, is an Australian native bee in the family Apidae.
Thyreus caeruleopunctatus, commonly known as the chequered cuckoo bee, is a parasitic bee of the genus Thyreus, also called cuckoo bees. It is a stocky bee, notable for its brilliant metallic blue and black banded colors.
The ashy mining bee or grey mining bee, Andrena cineraria, is a European species of the sand bee (Andrena) genus. Its distinctive colouring makes it one of the most easily recognised of the genus. The females are black, with two broad grey hair bands across the thorax. The male is also black although the thorax is entirely covered with grey hairs. The male has a tuft of white hairs on the lower face and white hairs on all femora while the female has white hairs only on the front femora. The female has twelve segments to their antennae and the male has thirteen.
Thopha sessiliba, commonly known as the northern double drummer, is an Australian cicada native to Queensland, the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia. Adults perch almost exclusively on ghost gums.
Pareronia hippia, the common wanderer or Indian wanderer, is a medium-sized butterfly of the family Pieridae, that is, the yellows and whites. It is found in India. Some authors consider this as a subspecies of Pareronia valeria.
Megachile melanophaea is a species of leaf-cutter bee in the family Megachilidae. It was first described by the British zoologist Frederick Smith in 1853. It is native to North America.
Lasioglossum cressonii is a species in the sweat bee genus Lasioglossum, family Halictidae. Halictidae exhibit eusocial hierarchy behavior which is interesting given that eusociality in this group is hard to evolve and easy to lose. L. cressonii is found throughout North America. L. cressonii have been shown to be important pollinators for apple trees and many other North American native plants.
Osmia caerulescens, the blue mason bee, is a species of solitary bee from the family Megachilidae. It has a Holarctic distribution extending into the Indomalayan region, although its presence in the Nearctic may be due to human assisted introduction.
Andrena vaga, the grey-backed mining bee, is a species of solitary bee which is found in most of Europe but which is very rare in Great Britain, where it may be recolonizing in the south-east after previously being extirpated. It specialises in feeding on the pollen of willows.
Andrena bicolor, or Gwynne's mining bee, is a common and widespread Western Palearctic mining bee which is found over most of Europe as well as North Africa and the Middle East and which reaches eastwards into Siberia.