Agapostemon – The Stamen Lovers

Photographed in April, this Agapostemon (either sericeus or splendens) bee is seen visiting blooms of Claytonia virginica (spring beauty). Agapostemon comes from two Greek words – agapetos, meaning beloved, and stemon, for stamen – these referring to their obvious fondness and attraction to flowers, particularly those in the Asteraceae. We can tell this bee is female because males of this genus have yellow and black striped abdomens.

An Agapostemon sp. female nectaring from a Claytonia virginica bloom, April 2021, St. Louis County, MO

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