Thursday 18 December 2014

Hairy Colletid Bee

I found this bee outside in my laundry basket. I took some photos of it against the white plastic and then placed it on a sage flower. It dived into the flower to sip the nectar and then rested on an empty calyx.

This is a New Zealand native solitary bee of the Leioproctus family. At 1cm in length it was a lot bigger than the usual solitary bees I see here.

The bee uses the hairy parts to collect pollen, which with nectar, is stored in each nursery chamber with a single egg. The burrows are in soil.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Porters Pass

I went to Porters Pass to look at the wildlife. There has been snow in the last couple of days, but it has melted quickly. The summer sun is hot when it shines.

The hillside above the pass
A Southern Tussock Grasshopper (I think)
Roadside plants
Coral Broom, Carmichaelia crassicaulis

Small Hover fly, Melanostoma fasciatum

Snowberry, Gaultheria sp.

White moss and lichen
Dracophyllum longifolium is the main plant in this area

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Summer Snow

The first two days of summer have been cold, with two falls of snow on the mountains.

Mount Torlesse, the Rubicon Peak
Back Peak and Otarama

Castle Hill Peak and The Gap