The Green and Golden Amegilla aeruginosa

At first sight in my new Far North Queensland garden I was shocked by this bee. It had all the hallmarks of Amegilla but no bands like Blue-banded Bees and it wasn’t a Teddy Bear Bee. Kit Prendergast, an Australian scientist who researches bees, came to the rescue with an identification.

Despite being first described in 1854, these bees have not attained a common name. Perhaps this is because they are not as obviously spectacular as some other Amegilla species. A close look, however, reveals the same amazing eyes and furry body with turquoise hairs on the thoraz and a lusciously golden abdomen.

The species is only found in the North of Australia and is slightly smaller than other Amegilla species. I have seen it referred to as the “Green and Golden Bee” on a rare occasion, but this fails to grasp the splendour of this little character.

These bees appear to love Basil and I often see them foraging around the long flowering stalks. I even saw one being devoured by the Praying Mantis that uses the Perennial Basil patch as a hunting ground. (If you’re interested, you can see that video here.) It was easily recognisable from the showy golden abdomen grasped by the Mantid.

Want a Pocket-book Guide to help you identify Australian bees in your garden? This is my favourite:

Bees & other beneficial insects: a pocket-book guide by Megan Halcroft. Buy it here.

Other relevant resources:

YouTube Australian Bee Playlist

Aussie Bee – lots of information!

Australian Bee Diversity with Dr Tobias Smith

Interview with Dr Kit Prendergast

Building Bee Hotels- video

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