Taxonomy


Bee Taxa: Amegilla ruficornis

Overview

Unlocking the captivating world of Amegilla ruficornis, commonly known as the Red-tailed Blue-banded Bee, is a journey into a fascinating species of solitary bees. These native Australian bees belong to the Amegilla genus and play a vital role in their ecosystem through their pollination activities.

Etymology

The scientific name Amegilla ruficornis originates from the Latin word “rufus,” meaning red, and “cornu,” which translates to horn. This epithet aptly describes the striking red coloration of their distinctive antennae.

Physical Characteristics

The Red-tailed Blue-banded Bee possesses a unique set of identifiable traits that set it apart from other bee species. These bees exhibit a megachiliform body shape, characterized by robust bodies and stout hairs on both the thorax and abdomen.

Their coloring is a mesmerizing palette of shimmering metallic blue and black hues, accentuated by the vivid red color of their antennae. With medium-length antennae and a body covered in dense, short hair, Amegilla ruficornis cuts a striking figure in their natural habitat.

The bees sport hairy legs and hairy abdomens, which aid in pollen collection, an essential aspect of their ecological role.

Ecological Significance

Amegilla ruficornis are efficient pollinators, playing a crucial role in the reproduction of various plant species, including wildflowers and crops. Their foraging activities contribute to biodiversity and support the health of ecosystems by facilitating plant reproduction.

Location/Region

These vibrant bees are predominantly found in Australia, where they thrive in diverse habitats ranging from coastal regions to arid inland areas.

Social Behavior

As solitary bees, Amegilla ruficornis do not live in colonies like their honeybee counterparts. Instead, they establish individual nests to rear their young.

Nesting Practices

The Red-tailed Blue-banded Bee creates nests in sheltered locations, such as abandoned burrows or hollow plant stems. These industrious bees construct nest cells using mud or plant materials, where they provision each cell with pollen and nectar before laying an egg.

Floral Specialization

Amegilla ruficornis exhibit specialized preferences for certain flower types, particularly those with tubular shapes that allow them to access nectar using their long tongues. Their foraging behaviors make them effective pollinators for specific plant species.

Natural Predators

While various insects and birds may prey on Amegilla ruficornis, their natural predators are generally not well-documented. Predation poses a threat to these important pollinators and underscores the need for conservation efforts to protect their populations.

Conservation Status

The conservation status of Amegilla ruficornis is currently not evaluated on the IUCN Red List. However, like many pollinators, these bees face threats from habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change, highlighting the importance of monitoring and preserving their populations.

Human Impact

Human activities such as urban development, agriculture, and pesticide use can significantly impact the habitats and populations of Amegilla ruficornis. Promoting sustainable practices that safeguard bee habitats and minimize harmful impacts is crucial for their continued survival.

Interesting Facts

– The buzzing sound created by Amegilla ruficornis is distinct from other bee species, adding to their unique charm.

– These bees exhibit remarkable agility in flight, hovering near flowers as they forage for nectar and pollen.

– Unlike social bees, solitary bees like Amegilla ruficornis do not produce honey.

References

For further information on the biology and behavior of Amegilla ruficornis, please refer to the following scientific studies:

(Amegilla ruficornis)

  • Name: Amegilla ruficornis
  • Rank: species
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    ID: 1358246

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    Parent ID: 199450