Wallace’s Giant Bee Facts
Most notably, entomologists believed the aptly named Wallace’s Giant Bee to be extinct, until several living individuals were seen in 1981.
In addition to being considered extremely rare, this insect also ranks as the largest known living species of bee found anywhere in the world.
Sadly, to the best of our knowledge, this astonishing creature also has an extremely restricted habitat range, adding to its vulnerability.
Due to a lack of concrete data on its numbers, the IUCN currently lists this impressive variety of bee as Vulnerable, pending further information.
Also of great regret is the fact that photos of living individuals
Wallace’s Giant Bee Physical Description
Individuals of the astounding Wallace’s Giant Bee vary rather greatly in size. This is due to the fact that the species exhibits a marked degree of sexual dimorphism.
Females attain an average body length of about 1.5 in (38 mm), yet the males grow much smaller, rarely exceeding a length of 0.9 in (23 mm).
In addition, the wingspan of the larger females significantly surpasses that of the males, and often reaches as much as 2.5 in (64 mm).
The species also remains renowned among entomologists for its extremely large and powerful jaws, yet only the females possess these.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Euarthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Family: Megachilidae
- Genus: Megachile
- Species: M. pluto
Wallace’s Giant Bee Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Unfortunately for the species, however, the fabulous Wallace’s Giant Bee only inhabits an extremely restricted and specific habitat range.
Given its rarity, researchers cannot be certain of its preferred habitat. However, experts believe it to restrict itself to lowland forests.
But unfortunately, much of this type of habitat on these islands has now been converted to palm oil plantations, severely limiting its territory.
Finally, this amazing species actually builds its nests inside the active nests of a tree-dwelling termite native to the region.