Common Wasp-mimic Bee, Hyleoides concinna Click to enlarge image
Common Wasp-mimic Bee, Hyleoides concinna (Fabricius, 1775) Image: Caroline Harding, Museum Victoria
© CC-BY

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    concinna
    Genus
    Hyleoides
    Subfamily
    Hylaeinae
    Family
    Colletidae
    Super Family
    Apoidea
    Suborder
    Apocrita
    Order
    Hymenoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    1.2 cm

The Common Wasp-mimic Bee disguises itself as a black and orange wasp, presumably because wasps are more aggressive and will be left alone by potential predators.

Habitat

The Common Wasp-mimic Bee lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.

Distribution

The Common Wasp-mimic Bee is found in eastern Australia from southern Queensland to Tasmania.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The disguise of the Common Wasp-mimic Bee is excellent, even to the point that the bee holds its wings in a wasp-like V-shape when it lands. It was actually originally misidentified as a wasp when it was first discovered.

Life history cycle

The female Common Wasp-mimic Bee builds her nest in stumps, logs or fallen trees. She makes a cellophane-like curtain at the entrance and pulls it into a tight iris-like slit to deter predators and parasites. Inside the nest she uses a similar material to build cells for her eggs and provisions them with nectar and pollen. When she finally leaves the nest she seals the entrance completely. When fully developed, the young eat their way out.