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Coelioxys Bee Photo
by 'Peter O'

Aussie Bee Homepage > New Native Bee Photos > Coelioxys Bees

'Peter O' took this rare photograph of a distinctive Coelioxys bee in Townsville, Queensland:

coelioxys bee

Coelioxys bees are cuckoo bees (or 'cleptoparasites') which lay their eggs inside the nests of other types of bees in a similar way as cuckoo birds lay eggs in the nests of other types of birds.

These bees lay their eggs in the nests of leafcutter bees just as The Neon Cuckoo Bee lays its eggs in the nests of Blue Banded Bees.

The Coelioxys bee enters the nest of a leafcutter bee and uses its long tapering abdomen to insert eggs in between the layers of leaf surrounding the leafcutter bee brood cell, into the pollen mass inside. The eggs hatch into Coelioxys larvae which kill the leafcutter bee young and also eat the food stored for them.

There are five species of Coelioxys described in Australia -- in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria.


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Author: Anne Dollin
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