A small, black bee approx. 8 mm long (3/8 inch) with two vertical yellow stripes on the head between the eyes. Antennae black. Thorax black with yellow circling band. Abdomen black with yellow bands. Wings smoky. Legs yellow and black.
This bee was photographed in the floodplain butterfly garden 7 Aug. 2020. Nebraska is the western edge of the range for this eastern species. Ranges from TX to NE to Ontario to FL.
Stelis louisae is a kleptoparasite of Megachilid leafcutter bees. It does not collect pollen because it steals food from leafcutter bees by laying eggs in the host nest. Young hatch and eat the pollen left for the young of the leafcutter bee. Without food the leafcutter bee dies. There are 65 species in the genus in North America.
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