Monday, June 20, 2005
Mating Wool Carder bees on Lamb's ear
Latin name: Anthidium manicatum
Yesterday at around four in the afternoon I was still hoping to get some more insect pictures. However, I was unable to go to a wonderful park. Fortunately, our neighbours have a patch of Lamb's ear in their front yard. I got some photos of Wool Carder bees, including this one of two of them mating. The male Wool Carder bee will scare competition away from a nice patch of flowers but will let females through, then mate with them once they've fed. Females apparently gather fuzz from plants like Lamb's ear and then work it to make a nest in a manner similar to a person carding wool. From this picture, mating does not seem to be either glamourous of fun for the female, whose wings get bent down by the male (this does probably protect them).
The Wool Carder bee is an introduced species from Europe.