New species of teddy bear bee discovered

By AG Staff 14 November 2017
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Yet another new species of teddy bear bee has been discovered in northern Queensland during a ‘bush blitz’ of the area.

A NEW species of teddy bear bee (Asarapoda) has been discovered in the small town of Laura, located in the Cape York Peninsula of northern Queensland, during a ‘bush blitz’ of the area. 

According to Remko Leijs, a biologist from the South Australian Museum, who discovered the new teddy bear bee, the bee is yet to be named as Remko is currently conducting a revision of this particular family of bees. 

Remko told Australian Geographic that he spotted the new teddy bear bee on a on hibiscus flower. 

“It was clear that female bees liked to collect pollen from hibiscus plants, but also were attracted to garden plants in the village, that probably provided a reliable nectar source for the bees.”

This new bee is one of five new species of teddy bear bee that has been discovered during the Bush Blitz project, first started in 2010 with the aim of highlighting Australia’s vast biodiversity. 

“It is great that a lot of new species of native bees are being discovered, so we still do not know completely what is out there,” Remko said. “On the other hand some species discovered about 100 years ago have not been found again,” he added. 

Remko said that he knew this particular bee was a new species the moment he spotted the unique bands that cover the bees abdomen. 

“Most other species in this group do not have clear hair bands but are almost entirely fluffy orange-brown. That is why they have been called Teddy bear bees,” he said.