Researcher Discovers New Bee Species That Has a Dog-Like Snout

Bees are an important part of our ecosystem, and while we may be trying to save the bees as we know them, there is an interesting new discovery happening in Australia.

Apparently, a new species of bee has been found, however, these bees happen to have. dog-like “snout” to them! You can see photos of the species shared on Instagram by Kit Prendergast:

Prendergast is working on her Ph.D., and as part of her studies, she has to survey the bushland in Western Australia.

It was there that she made some interesting finds – including a new species of native bee. According to the PENSOFT Blog, the insect has a protruding clypeus, which is what gives it the appearance of having a snout. That inspired her to name the new bee species Leioproctus zephyr. And if you’re wondering about the name, she chose to call the name after her beloved dog, Zephyr, who you can see in her Instagram photo below:

According to PENSOFT, she said, “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 added, “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.”

Photo: Flickr/Kevin Thiele License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

While the bee might have an unusual appearance, Prendergast has her theory on why the bee’s clypeus is so pronounced. She believes that it is most likely to assist the bee species in foraging a very specific but very limited plant known as Jacksonia sericea, which is a type of native pea flower.

You can read her full report on the new species in the Journal of Hymenoptera. What do you think of this bee species? Let us know!

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