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The Caddisfly and Osmia Avosetta

February 7 2015

The caddisfly and Osmia avosetta bee are two of nature’s finest little architects. Caddisfly larvae create cocoon-like cases from whatever materials are available. In the examples below, artist Hubert Duprat provided the larvae with pieces of gold and assorted minerals from which they crafted mobile homes fit for a king. The Osmia avosetta bee, on the other hand, is much fussier and will only create it’s nest using petals from a specific flower.

More information and images of the caddisfly here and here.

Osmia avosetta is a species of mason bee. It is solitary by nature, and is unique in its use of flower petals to construct nests for its larvae.[1]

The female O. avosetta digs shallow tunnels in the ground consisting of one or two chambers, each of which it then covers with flower petals glued together with mud. It then places larval food in each chamber and seals it with soil and by folding the petals over. The cell hardens to form protection for the larva against predation and weather. This behavior was first observed in 2009, by two research groups working separately in the mountains of Turkey and Iran.[1] Jerome Rozen, curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History discovered their nest-building habits while in the field in Turkey. On the same day, another team that was studying the bees in Iran made exactly the same discovery. Both teams co-published their findings

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