Thyreus nitidulus

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Thyreus nitidulus
Cloak and Dagger Cuckoo Bee.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Genus: Thyreus
Species:T. nitidulus
Binomial name
Thyreus nitidulus
(Fabricius, 1804)

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.

<i>Thyreus</i> genus of insects

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. [1] The specific epithet is derived from the diminutive of the Latin adjective nitidus "shining" (i.e. "a little shiny").

Denmark constitutional monarchy in Europe

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 scientific study of insects

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 Danish zoologist

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. [2]

New South Wales State of Australia

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 North-east state of Australia

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 State of Australia

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. [2]

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. [2]

<i>Amegilla cingulata</i> species of insect

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.

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References

  1. Australian Faunal Index Species Thyreus nitidulus (Fabricius, 1804)
  2. 1 2 3 Dollin, Anne; Batley, Michael (2000). Native Bees of the Sydney Region. North Richmond, NSW: Australian Native Bee Research Centre. p. 55. ISBN   1-876307-07-2.