Meroglossa rubricataBubbling Meroglossa rubricata Colour Variation Communication Female and Male Flower Selection Nesting Threats

Images and Author Gary Taylor

Her ninja like disappearance into the shadows after doing a commando roll out of a flower and dropping to escape…

Author Gary Taylor

When threatened the Meroglossa rubricata has a few tactics up it’s sleeves as witnessed by a keen observer…

The Meroglossa rubricata’s has a really cool tactic of dropping off the flower if she feels threatened rather than fly off. If she’s higher up the flower or tucked in amongst it she will tuck her down side legs under and do an awesome “Commando roll” off or out of the flower, dropping through the leaves below and it’s so quick. She doesn’t hit the ground but you don’t see which way she goes either… After countless hours of watching I’ve finally seen it! And now I know, that’s because she does a super cool high speed flip as she goes through the leaves and for the tiniest fraction of a second she hovers flying upside down and then lands upwards on the underside of one of the leaves… Awesome…

Author Gary Taylor
Meroglossa rubricata, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Meroglossa rubricata, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor

Meroglossa rubricata see’s a European bee about to land on her flower and pops up to tell it this one’s taken. I was seriously impressed with the little Aussie’s attitude, half the size but she wasn’t backing down.

As the Euro hovered in closer like “Is that right, little one…” Ruby came marching straight out and literally went head to head with it. Walked right up to it and pushed her little face against the Euro’s face and I’m sure she said “Yep, that’s right… and what are you gonna do about it?” What an image! What a capture! And I bloody missed it! Arrghh… I was on ‘flash’ not continuous, by the time the camera was ready for another shot it was all over…

Second pic is right after the Euro backed down, it hovered off a bit like it might land again and Ruby walked up over the flower to let it know she was watching. She did let the Euro land in the end but it was under strict conditions, it had to keep it’s distance. She clearly had the Euro scared, every time it got within about 4 cm of her she’d just up and start walking toward it like Clint Eastwood, haha you know the line, and it would take off 🙂

Author Gary Taylor

The little Paralastor wasp shaped up to the Meroglossa rubricata over whose nest it is… you can read the blog about this encounter… Ruby and the wasp…


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Apoidea
  • Informal: Apiformes
  • Family: Colletidae
  • Subfamily: Hylaeinae
  • Genus: Meroglossa
  • Species: M rubricata
  • Binomial name: Meroglossa rubricata

Footnote & References

  1. Photographs and content contributor © Gary Taylor

Meroglossa rubricataBubbling Meroglossa rubricata Colour Variation Communication Female and Male Flower Selection Nesting Threats

MeroglossaMeroglossa impressifrons Meroglossa rubricata

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