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CEIBA Research Guyana Image 6
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CEIBA Research, Guyana (Image 6)

June 14, 2010
CEIBA Research, Guyana (Image 6) Euglossine bees (Eulaema sp.), also called Orchid Bees, are a solitary species, with few living communally. All live exclusively in South or Central America. The male orchid bee has modified legs that are used to collect and store fragrant compounds, generally from orchids. These compounds are metabolized to attract females, who then select the male with the most fragrant bouquet of perfumes. Interestingly, Orchid Bees are the only group of pollen-carrying bees that do not possess eusocial behavior -- specialized reproduction found in some animals that involves breeding sterile members of a species to carry out specialized tasks and care for the reproductive members. There are about 200 known species that are distributed in five genera: Euglossa, Eulaema, Eufriesea, Exaerete and Aglae. The latter two species are cleptoparasites (creatures that take prey from other species that have caught, killed or prepared it, including stored food provisions), and live in the nests of other orchid bees. This image was taken as part of research centered at CEIBA Biological Center, Inc. in Guyana, by Dr. Godfrey Bourne of the Department of Biology at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. Dr. Bourne is currently program director of the Behavioral Systems Cluster, Division of Integrative Organismal Biology at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Bourne is personally involved in administrating CEIBA Biological Center Inc., as a nonprofit research, education and conservation field station in Guyana. Research opportunities for postdoctoral associates, graduate and undergraduate students are available in Guyana on a diversity of organisms. This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation. [One of several related images. See Next Image.] (Date of Image: 2004-2006)