Squash bee cleptoparasite

I’ve talked about cleptoparasites at length, and I’ve featured photos of several cuckoo bees. One interesting thing I discovered while waiting in a field of squash to photograph bees the other day was that there is a cleptoparasite of squash bees.  It is a Triepeolus species (I’m not sure which, but maybe remigatus?).

Squash bee cleptoparasite

Squash bee cleptoparasite

It was surprisingly easier to photograph than its host.  In fact, I saw one enter a nest that already had a squash bee in it.  I can just imagine that conversation, “Oh! Ah, excuse me…I must have gone down the wrong hole.  You wouldn’t mind if I just leave this egg here, would you?”

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