Luther College students uncover seven new bee species in Iowa
DECORAH, Iowa (KCRG) - A recent analysis of the bees found living on Luther College’s campus has turned up with a surprising find. Seven of the 55 species found on campus have never been recorded in Iowa.
“We have seven species that we are confident are state records, meaning they have not been previously found in Iowa and there are no specimens of these species collected from Iowain any natural history collections that we know of,” said Kirk Larsen, a biology professor and faculty advisor of the research project.
Luther’s Summer Student/Faculty Collaborative Research program made the find. The indication of this finding is that Luther College’s shift to planting more native flowers is working to attract new pollinators.
The seven news species to Iowa include:
- Megachile relativa - which is normally found in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Canada.
- Paranthidium jugatorium - was spotted just north of Dahl Centennial Union. This species is widespread in the U.S. but not in Iowa.
- Heriades carinata - which is commonly referred to as the giant resin bee. It is typically found in Minnesota and Canada.
- Stelis labiata - is a parasitic leafcutter bee that lays its eggs in the nests of other species of bees. It is usually found in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
- Andrena pruni - also known as the cherry miner bee, is previously known to live in Nebraska, Illinois, and Minnesota.
- Ptilothrix bombiformis - the hibiscus turret bee, looks very much like a bumble bee. It is widespread across the southeast U.S. north and west to Missouri and Illinois, but this is the furthest northwest ever recorded.
- Heriades leavitti - a type of mason bee. It has been recorded in Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois but never in Iowa.
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