A cute spider?

Yes, I think it’s ‘cute’. I first saw it about a week ago on the back of a dining room chair and again today on our kitchen cabinet. It’s a zebra spider (Salticus scenicus) and is quite small (about ½ inch). According to Wikipedia, they are common throughout the Northern hemisphere and are often found near humans – in dwellings or gardens.

Cute fuzzy zebra spider

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A queen in the backyard!

I like bumble bees. Their fuzzy bodies remind me of miniature teddy bear, and they move slowly enough that I can easily watch them. I was thrilled recently to see this large bumble bee visiting one of our daffodil blossoms. I suspected it was a queen, since I’ve learned that only fertilized queen bumble bees hibernate and survive the winter. They are the first to appear in spring as they prepare to establish a new colony.

Two-spotted Bumble Bee Visiting a Daffodil

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It was a sweat bee!

The response to last week’s blog post prompted me to send the photographs to BugGuide for identification. I now know the pollinator was a sweat bee, specifically Halictidae lasioglossum. I’ve learned there are many species of sweat bees. Many are dark black or brown, but some are quite colorful. I saw this one (Halictidae agapostemon) in our backyard a few years ago.

Bi-colored sweat bee

I’ve also seen this one (Augochloropsis metallica). It reminds me of a jewel – maybe a flying emerald?

Green sweat bee

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