Zephyrs in the Park III

Continuing with the ‘Zephyrs in the Park’ series, here are the long-awaited Lasioglossum zephyrum mating scenes.

This time, there are none of the narrator’s dulcet tones to distract, so those who aren’t partial to music with their ‘entomology’ can safely turn the sound off.

Part 4 should be ready soon, with snippets of some of the other types of bugs that were living near to the Lasioglossum nest site in Goldbar park.

(Recorded 31 July, 2015. Edmonton)

This entry was posted in Alberta, Behaviour, Canada, Edmonton, Halictidae, Hymenoptera, in copula, Insect, macro, photography, Season, Summer and tagged , , , , , .

8 Comments

  1. Gary Anweiler 13 April, 2016 at 11:48 AM #

    Very nice series Adrian! Who knew !!

    • Adrian 13 April, 2016 at 1:47 PM #

      It’s a bit of a bizarre set of circumstances to observe it, but in all the time that I spent at that location, this was the only time I witnessed mating.

  2. Dr Raymond J C Cannon 13 April, 2016 at 9:29 PM #

    Fascinating. Left me wondering if the female would have mated with all these males, or would she have exerted some sort of choice, if she had not been stuck in the nest with her butt in the air! Pardon my French! Presumably there are pressures to keep the nest entrance as small as possible (are the females smaller than the males?) so perhaps this phenomenon happens occasionally and the males are ready to take advantage?

    • Adrian 14 April, 2016 at 5:23 AM #

      Yes, the nest entrance is 2mm wide while the tunnels are 4mm wide. The guard bee’s head does a pretty good job of filling the opening, but sometimes they sit a bit lower, which gives room for two to pass each other. I suspect this female was re-entering the wrong nest and that she somehow became interlocked with the guard.

  3. Andrea Jackson 13 April, 2016 at 10:50 PM #

    Slightly opportunistic advantage to the males!!! Let it suffice to say that I hope she passes on the ability to burrow larger nest holes to her young! Nod nod wink wink!

    It looked like she actually attracted males of another species as well!

    • Adrian 14 April, 2016 at 6:18 AM #

      There is a lot of natural variation in the colour of this species, with the abdomen coloured from green to orange, so I think they are all the same species. There is one scene where you can see a bee trying to get under the trapped female, and I suspect that is another female trying to reenter the nest.

  4. Annie Pang 15 April, 2016 at 1:40 AM #

    I feel for that poor trapped female!!! I laughed when I saw one of the “matings” when the antennae of the male drooped slowly down as he “depleted” himself though. Never thought to witness that gang rape of a trapped female bee!
    Fabulous footage, Adrian. Never seen anything like this before. Glad she finally got free! Probably not as glad as SHE was though! Where on earth did you come up with that music??
    Well, I don’t imagine she’ll be calling for her “Romeo” from any bee “balcony” any time soon! 😉
    You were certainly at the right place at the right time…..and she was definitely NOT!

    • Adrian 15 April, 2016 at 5:21 AM #

      You gave me my first laugh of the day, Annie!I noticed that ‘drooping’ of the antenna as well, but it didn’t happen with all the males, so I ignored it.

      I find the music at FreeMusic Archive, and then search for a style that fits the mood and pace of the action. 😕