New on Featured Creatures! Coastal plain hesperapis (suggested common name)

We are pleased to announce a new article on Featured Creatures!

Take a sneak peek with this excerpt from the article: Hesperapis oraria Snelling and Stage is a specialized, solitary bee belonging to the family Melittidae (Dasypodainae). Hesperapis species are found throughout North America and typically forage on multiple plant species. However, Hesperapis oraria is the only species to be identified east of the Mississippi River. Furthermore, Hesperapis oraria is an extreme specialist as it only forages on one Asteraceae species (the coastal plain honeycombhead, Balduina angustifolia) for all of its pollen and nectar needs.

Hesperapis_oraria01

Figure 1. The known distribution of Hesperapis oraria on the barrier islands along the northern margins of the Gulf of Mexico from Horn Island, Mississippi eastward to Saint Andrew’s Bay, Florida. Figure adapted from Cane et al. (1996) by Chase Kimmel, University of Florida. Map base layer provided by NRCS Geospatial Data Gateway.

Available at: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/Hesperapis_oraria.htm

Authors: Bridget A. Lyons, Ashley N. Mortensen, Jamie D. Ellis, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida