Thursday, 26 April 2018

A new hope: One of North America's rarest bees has its known range greatly expanded



Date:  April 16, 2018
Source:  Pensoft Publishers

The Macropis Cuckoo Bee is one of the rarest bees in North America, partly because of its specialized ecological associations. It is a nest parasite of oil-collecting bees of the genus Macropis which, in turn, are dependent on oil-producing flowers of the genus Lysimachia.
In fact, the cuckoo bee -- which much like its feather-bearing counterpart does not build a nest of its own, but lays its eggs in those of other species instead -- is so rare that it was thought to have gone extinct until it was collected in Nova Scotia, Canada, in the early 2000s. As a result, the Macropis Cuckoo Bee was brought to the attention of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

Recently, an individual reported from Alberta, Canada, brought new hope for the survival of the species. In addition to previously collected specimens from Ontario, this record greatly expands the known range of the cuckoo.


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