Monday’s Macro: Carpenter Bee Blister Beetle

Carpenter bee blister beetle (Synhoria testacea)
This blister beetle (Synhoria testacea) has a cunning strategy for parasitising on nests of carpenter bees.  It is commonly found around Cape Town in habitats such as dried logs, timber posts or dead wood. They lay eggs on flowers and their first stage larvae attach themselves to visiting bees, which carry them back to their nests.  The beetle larvae then occupy cells and feed on the hosts’ stores of pollen and nectar.  After reaching their hosts, they mount into fat inactive grubs.  Adults feed on flowers, foliage or nectar.

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