New 'leaf-cutter' bee discovered

2013-01-17 12:02
Bees (Picture: <a href=\\http://www.shutterstock.com\\>Shutterstock</a> )

Bees (Picture: Shutterstock )

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – A new species of leaf-cutter bee has been discovered near Walvis Bay in Namibia. Megachile gobabebensis was named after the only region in which it occurs, Gobabeb.

The species description was published in Zootaxa  this month and forms part of an extensive manuscript which sought to revise the classification of southern African leaf-cutter bees.

The Gobabeb leaf-cutter was described as being unique based on the fifth male foretarsomere. Lead author and bee taxonomist from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Dr Connal Eardley, explains that studying this characteristic is equivalent to looking at the bones in the human hand.

Leaf-cutters are so called because of the fascinating way in which they build their nests. “The bees use existing tunnels in twigs and logs to deposit a pollen and nectar paste where they lay an egg, after that they close the tunnel with the collected pieces of leaves,” Eardley told News24.

Southern African leaf-cutters and bees in general provide important ecosystem services which extend to the agricultural industry.

In natural ecosystems bees are important pollinators of wild plants which maintain biodiversity and ensure food for animals. In agricultural systems bees are the main pollinators in orchards and ensure the production of various fruits.

Follow Dane on Twitter

Read more on:    namibia  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Set yourself some clear goals today to help you bring your idealistic ideas down to earth. With a practical plan and a steady...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.