Jan 25 – Hummingbird Feeder sample, Harvestman, and more weird ants

Last week we sorted and pinned two and a half kits: the kit by K. Feltham (Logan County), T. Staats (Delaware County), and started a kit by J. Estep (Union County). We are over 10,500 bees pinned! We have sorted about 25 of the 125 kits that were turned in. We have also identified over 750 bees to at least genus.

I did not finish sorting the first kit by Estep, but he might be getting close to the record for most number of bees per week. The May sample filled an entire section of a petri dish, and these were all small bees! The following weeks were much more reasonable numbers of bees.

Hummingbird feeders trapping bees:

Bonus bees from a hummingbird feeder

Occasionally, people notice that bees and other insects get caught in hummingbird feeders. K. Feltham strained her hummingbird feeder and included the sample in her kit. There were 24 bees, all of which were some sort of sweat bee.

Closeup of the bees found in a hummingbird feeder.

I have seen other hummingbird feeders catch bees as well, including a hummingbird feeder from J. Howard that had over a dozen sweat bees in the genus Lasioglossum. That prompted me to buy my own hummingbird feeder a few years ago that was the same model as Howard’s, but for some reason I rarely get any bees in my feeder.


Check out the weirdest harvestman (aka daddy long legs) I have ever seen! It was in Felthams kit from Logan County. This tiny baby harvestman is covered in odd stripes and generated a lot of discussion in the harvestman community. Various experts think it COULD be a rare species, but since it is so immature, they are not 100% sure that it is that rare group. See part of the discussion here: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/68331804

To illustrate just how young this harvestman is, here is a photo of it next to rice for scale. The adults would be much larger and likely lose the stripes.

Feltham also had several weevils that did not look happy to be here. If you zoom in, you can also see modified hairs that look like scales.

#notabee This bright green cuckoo wasp could be confused for some of the bright green sweat bees. However, this is a parasitic wasp. The antennae are much lower on the face, the wing venation is off, and the dense pitting differentiate this wasp from bees. It was collected by Staats in central Ohio. 

Oh joy! Another ant! It looks like most ants, but the shape of the propodeum (red arrow) separates the genus Dolichoderus from most other more common ants. I haven’t finished sorting the kit by Estep to see if there are more of these ants, but the ant enthusiasts are definitely excited about finding this rare ant.

Guess that bodypart:

Both Steven Upperman and Richard Bradley correctly guessed last weeks super macro photo! It is indeed the wing (elytra) of a Six-spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela sexguttata), which is order Coleoptera and family Carabidae (or  Cicindelidae if you follow the recent taxonomy changes).

Helping in the lab in the age of covid:
The lab is open to people interested in helping pin or sort specimens on a very limited basis. For now, the following caveats must be reached. 1) if you have managed to get both doses of a covid vaccine, or 2) you have already gotten covid, recovered, and can show both + then – covid tests. If you fit one of these exceptions and want to come to the lab to help out, please send an email to MaLisa at spring.99@osu.edu

New cases are finally starting to go down across Ohio, but we still have more cases now than we did in the spring of last year.

Want to see how to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in Ohio or see if you qualify yet? See the vaccine distribution website here: https://vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov/

Free Insect Coloring book:

Do you need more coloring pages in your life? How about coloring pages with cool bug facts? Well, check out this printable Insect Coloring Book by Matt Bartone! 28 pages of fun that will keep you occupied for at least a few hours of coloring. Print it out and get to coloring! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PL1USnHQlYJAzBbgQLNROosQq6rZG15c/view

That’s all for now,

MaLisa Spring

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