CLOAK AND DAGGER CUCKOO BEES (Thyreus)
The Thyreus Cuckoo Bees are stunningly beautiful but these bees lead a life of deceit! They behave like cuckoo birds -- laying their eggs in the nests of other bees.
Some species of Thyreus Cuckoo Bees have blue spots while others have white spots. (Another kind of cuckoo bee lays its eggs in the nests of Leafcutter Bees.)
The Neon Cuckoo Bee, Thyreus nitidulus, with glittering metallic blue spots, lays its eggs in the nests of Blue Banded Bees.
'Peter O' kindly contributed this magnificent photo of a Neon Cuckoo Bee:
Erica Siegel of Queensland kindly contributed the following vibrant photographs of the Neon Cuckoo Bee:
Above: Erica Siegel's fabulous photo of a Neon Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus nitidulus).
Above: the Neon Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus nitidulus) has dazzling patches of jewel-like blue fur on its black body.
A closely related Cuckoo Bee with white patches of fur, the Domino Cuckoo Bee, Thyreus lugubris, preys on the nests of Teddy Bear Bees.
Above: A striking Domino Cuckoo Bee, photographed by Aussie Bee.
The Thyreus Cuckoo Bees are about 10-13 mm long and belong to the family Apidae. They are found Australia-wide, except in Tasmania.
Above: These four beautiful postage stamps featuring Australian native bees were issued by Australia Post in May 2019! The upper left stamp shows the Neon Cuckoo Bee. For more details, see the Stamp Bulletin, issue 359 (pages 6-8).