For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cuckoo bee - Coelioxys

Cuckoo Bees ( Coelioxys sp) family Megachilidae

 A female Coelioxys will seek these out and apparently uses its sharp abdomen to pierce the cells of other Megachile species where an egg is then laid in the cell. The egg of the Coelioxys hatches before that of the Megachile and the newly-hatched larva crushes the Megachile egg with its large jaws. The Coelioxys larva can then feed on the contents of the cell. Pupation occurs within a cocoon spun within the host cell where the larva overwinters as a prepupa. The genus Anthophora excavates nest burrows in sandy soil or rotting wood, where they may also become the hosts of Coelioxys larvae.
 As is the case with other cuckoo bees, each species of Coelioxys is a cuckoo (cleptoparasite) only of certain host species. In summer, Coelioxys can be seen on flowers feeding with its long tongue.

Female Coelioxys should be treated with care as they may sting; males are said to emit an unpleasant odour when handled.

Females have a 6 segment, elongated abdomen and the males a 7 segment spiny one.