Ptiloglossa bees are large and hairy, with a metasoma that is weakly metallic, and with large ocelli. The large ocelli hint at the creatures’ habits: these bees are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), and the ocelli help cope with the lowered light levels. The bee in the photo, a male, is visiting a Passion Flower. Males maintain a territory, typically occupying a favored perch near the nest and sallying out on short forays before returning to the perch. The genus, with 48 Neotropical species, is found from the southwestern United States (southern Arizona to southern Texas) and south to northern Argentina.
Photo notes: Crooked Tree Preserve, Belize.
Determined by Dr. John S. Ascher, National University of Singapore.
American Insects site