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Ant / Bee / WaspTetragonula carbonaria

Stingless bee at North Nowra, NSW

3 images

Tetragonula carbonaria at North Nowra, NSW - 16 Nov 2017
Tetragonula carbonaria at North Nowra, NSW - 16 Nov 2017
Tetragonula carbonaria at North Nowra, NSW - 16 Nov 2017

Identification history

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Author's notes

This colony of stingless native bees were sighted when male drones were being snatched in mid-air by raiding Bembix wasps; females if caught it seems, are released.


   26 Dec 2018
Great observation, Mike! I’m not qualified to confirm this species myself. How have you arrived at this ID?
   2 Jan 2019
It’s clear from the extra information you’ve supplied that these are eusocial bees living in a colony, Mike. Terry Houston’s new bee book lists only two genera that have these habits - Austroplebeia and Tetragonula. He also states that only one species, Tetragonula carbonaria, is found as far south as south-eastern Australia. So that information, combined with your images and the described descriptions of this species makes it clear that your recording is of Tetragonula carbonaria. No, I haven’t seen them down here on the far south coast. I’d love to see them!
   5 Jan 2019
In Heard's book he actually states Nowra as being the southerly extent for the species! Given climatic conditions, they may be in your neighbourhood soon.....
   5 Jan 2019
I guess that would be a silver lining in the climate change cloud!
   14 Jan 2020
14.1.2020. The colony is now struggling with reduced activity in the super dry conditions; less flower around in the regrowth bush, though the bees are returning with pollen. Creek has water in pools about 600m away. Bembix wasps still snatching males.

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Location information

Species information

  • Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 101 - 1,000 Abundance
  • 16 Nov 2017 Recorded on
  • Mike Leggett Recorded by
325392 sightings of 6663 species in 883 locations from 487 members
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