RE: [beemonitoring] The intriguing Halictus tectus in North America
Thanks for the fascinating report on your outing to the Port of Baltimore. It’s good to be reminded that these highly urbanized areas can be good sites for collecting, especially if one has an eye out for exotic or disturbance-loving species.
Timothy D. Hatten, Ph.D.
CEO, Invertebrate Ecology Inc.
121 W. Sweet Ave
Moscow, ID 83843
Sunday I visited the Port of Baltimore for several hours in the late afternoon and collected off of weeds along the many railroad tracks, abandoned lots, roadsides and flower plantings to be found in such an industrial setting. It was very quiet, as apparently, at least on this Sunday, nothing was being unloaded at the docks. Baltimore Harbor is ranked 17th in the nation in terms of size and plenty of shipping containers are in the area. As such it is a wonderful place to look for recent arrivals from Europe. The habitats in the area are highly disturbed with reasonable amounts of weedy plants available for nectaring and pollen collection. Indeed as you can see from the species list below....8 of the 21 species were not native to North America.
Of note were the 8 specimens of Halictus tectus. This Mediterranean species appears to be firmly entrenched in the Mid-Atlantic region and it would be worth looking for specimens in other urban landscapes. They have been found in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. suburbs, and Baltimore, but not in great numbers. However, each of these collecting locations were in severely disturbed sites...playing fields, industrial areas, and a traffic circle. Likely they are under-collected as these are not the normal haunts of bee hunters. I would, however, recommend more work in Port areas to look for new bee friends from Europe and elsewhere. It can also be as fun and educational as going to a lovely National Park. In a short time there I managed to find a syringe dumping ground for heroin addicts and got kicked out of the abandoned grounds of the Bethlehem Steel Sparrow's Point operations (the security agents were actually quite nice and we had a nice chat after I explained what I was doing, but was told to check in next time at the office).
In a short bit there should be a report up at:
Giving a bit more detail.
13 Apis mellifera
2 Augochlora pura
1 Augochlorella aurata
2 Anthidium manicatum
2 Bombus fervidus
8 Bombus impatiens
9 Halictus tectus
1 Hylaeus affinis/modestus
1 Hylaeus leptocephalus
2 Hylaeus mesillae
2 Hylaeus punctatus
3 Lasioglossum imitatum
1 Lasioglossum atlanticum
1 Lasioglossum versatum
2 Megachile apicalis
5 Megachile concinna
2 Megachile exilis
8 Megachile mendica
1 Megachile rotundata
3 Megachile texana
2 Xylocopa virginica
Sam Droege sdroege@...
w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
Passing through huddled and ugly walls,
By doorways where women haggard
Looked from their hunger-deep eyes,
Haunted with shadows of hunger-hands,
Out from the huddled and ugly walls,
I came sudden, at the city's edge,
On a blue burst of lake --
Long lake waves breaking under the sun
On a spray-flung curve of shore;
And a fluttering storm of gulls,
Masses of great gray wings
And flying white bellies
Veering and wheeling free in the open.
P Bees are not optional.