Perdita Minima Facts
- The incredible Perdita Minima ranks as one of the most fascinating of bees. They stay so tiny that most people don’t even know they exist. Entomologists know this insect as the smallest species of bee known to man. In fact, their entire body could easily fit on the head of an average-sized bee.
- Scientists know that they possess a moderately restricted habitat range. Yet, we know virtually nothing about their numbers. Their tiny size literally makes it difficult for experts to find them to determine accurate information. Due to this lack of sufficient information, the IUCN currently has no status listing for them.
- While we know almost nothing about their numbers, many suspect their existence may be threatened. This belief springs from a combination of several factors relating to their habitat and environment. The area they inhabit remains especially vulnerable to climate change. In addition, human expansion threatens to further reduce their range.
Perdita Minima Physical Description
Much as all members of the Perdita genus, the Perdita Minima (as the name implies) has an extremely small body. Yet even among its own genus, this insect ranks as tiny. Adults of this species average slightly less than 0.08 in (2 mm) in total body length.
Their coloring primarily consists of bright yellow, yet some individuals also display streaks of gold or even white. While they do technically have a stinger, it remains incapable of piercing the skin of a human.
Their wings are powerful and big, relative to their body size, and often carry comparatively large quantities of pollen. In addition, numerous large hairs cover their legs.
Species: P. minima
Perdita Minima Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Their tiny size does not solely hold responsibility for the fact that few people even know the Perdita Minima exists. Their native habitat range consists primarily of the thinly populated sections of the southwestern United States. Furthermore, the majority of them live in the desert regions of the area.
The Perdita Minima does not live in colonies like some bees. Instead, they live solitary lives and build nests in soil that stays sandy and loose.
While their bodies stay tiny, their effect on their environment does not. They pollinate vast quantities of plants and wildflowers native to the region, including some endangered species.
The adults and larvae alike feed primarily on the pollen and nectar of these same wildflowers. Therefore, any environmental factor that threatens one also threatens the other.