Answer to the Monday Mystery, and How to Identify Bee Feet

It was no small feet.

Well, maybe not. I take that back. It was many tiny feet. But last night’s tarsal task was eventually guessed in its entirety by Dave Almquist, for 10 points. The bees were B,C,E, and F. All the other feet were non-bee wasps.


The images were from the USGS Bee Inventory & Monitoring Lab, a tremendous resource for free public domain insect images.

The trick to the mystery is knowing that the basitarus in bees is typically broader and flatter than in non bees. Like so:



Some bees, including common honey bees, have a simply massive basitarsis. Others are much more subtle. I deliberately made this challenge difficult by including a couple parasitic bees in the genus Nomada. These insects are not as fuzzy as most bees, and their basitarsi are just barely flattened. Kudos to Dave for his sharp eyes.

I’ve put the original challenge below, if you’d like to try again.



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