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Green Orchid Bee (Euglossa dilemma)

Image of Dilemma Orchid Bee

Description:

My friend the green orchid bee was formerly classified as E. viridissima. It's a very new species in Florida, having been introduced in 2003 from Mexico and Central America. This happy bee has a long proboscis, allowing it to pollinate and get nectar from flowers other bees can't reach. It hovers superbly. The bees pictured are collecting something from Solidago (goldenrod) plants. Females collect mud and various plant resins to construct their nests. Males, in their native countries, have the fascinating ability to collect fragrances (volatile compounds...often esters) from orchids to use in attracting mates. Their "behavior of volatile collection is essentially unique in the animal kingdom." (reference below)en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euglossini

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Bob Peterson
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Bob Peterson
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