New Bee Species With Distinctive 'Snout' Discovered In Western Australia

November 7, 2022

A new species of bee with a dog-like "snout" was been discovered in Australia.

bee with a snout
Credit: Kit Prendergast / Facebook

As part of her PhD, Kit Prendergast surveyed bushland in Western Australia and made numerous discoveries, including a new species of native bee

It has a protruding clypeus that is "snout-like", so she named the new species Leioproctus zephyr after her beloved dog, Zephyr.

bee with a snout
Credit: Kit Prendergast / Facebook

"Not only is this species fussy, they also have a clypeus that looks like a snout. Hence, I named them after my dog Zephyr. She has been so important to my mental health and wellbeing during the challenging period of doing a PhD and beyond," Prendergast said.

"It's been a dream of mine to find and describe a new species of native bee. And whoever describes a new species, the taxonomist gets to have naming rights. The only rule is that you can't name it after yourself because that's really egotistic. You can name it after something descriptive, a location, or even a famous person or someone who is significant in your life – which is exactly what I did," she added.

bee with a snout
Credit: Kit Prendergast / Facebook

Prendergast said the bee's clypeus was most likely used to help the species forage in a very limited range of host plants called Jacksonia sericea, a type of native pea flower.

See the full report on the new species in the Journal of Hymenoptera.

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