Xylocopa aerataMale Xylocopa aerata Xylocopa aeratus Pollinator The Assassin

Photographs by Marc Newman

The Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus gets its common name of Golden-green Carpenter Bee or Green Carpenter Bee due to its habit of burrowing into wood. A solitary bee, it is an important pollinator for several species of Australian native plants.

On occasion you may witness the unsuccessful pollination of a flower, as picture here when Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus is accessing the nectar by piercing the corolla, the corolla is made up of the petals (that can be separate or fused petals) of the flower. The corolla (together with the calyx) make up the perianth, which is the non-reproductive portion of the flower. In this instance pollination is ineffective.

Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus stealing nectar by piercing corolla. Pollination ineffective © Marc Newman
Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus stealing nectar by piercing corolla. Pollination ineffective © Marc Newman

Whilst some native species are only seen on a limited number of flowering plants species, other species of native bees have been known to frequent a range of flowering plants.

Male Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus on Leptospermum © Marc Newman
Male Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus on Leptospermum © Marc Newman

Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus have been documented on Leptospermum, Nandina (Sacred or Japanese bamboo), Eucalyptus (such as Eucalyptus leucoxylon), Crowea, Wisteria, Callistemon and Melaleuca to name a few.

Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus on Nandina, Ballandean, QLD © Marc Newman
Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus on Nandina, Ballandean, QLD © Marc Newman

Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus on Nandina. The blurry head (pictured above) indicates that this species also performs the head banging buzz pollination as has been discovered for Blue Banded Bees.

Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus feeding on the nectar of Callistemon © Marc Newman
Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus feeding on the nectar of Callistemon © Marc Newman

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Apoidea
  • Informal: Apiformes
  • Family: Apidae
  • Subfamily: Xylocopinae
  • Tribe: Xylocopini
  • Genus: Xylocopa
  • Subgenus: infrageneric Lestis
  • Species: Xylocopa aerata

Footnote & References

  1. Photographs Xylocopa (Lestis) aeratus © Marc Newman, Flickr, https://flickr.com/photos/koolbee/albums

Xylocopa aerataMale Xylocopa aerata Xylocopa aeratus Pollinator The Assassin

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