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A Red Bee

When I first saw this red insect, I had no idea what it was, so I just took a lot of photos, hoping to identify it later when I got back home.  My initial guess was that it must be some type of hoverfly but, when I looked closely at the photos, I realized that the antennae were too long for a hoverfly and more like those of a wasp.  I searched my pocket guides to insects but to no avail.  Then I went to the web and eventually tracked down some pictures (here, here, and here) which allowed me to tentatively identify it as Nomada striata, a species of nomad bee.  It didn't seem very active while I was photographing it.  When I poked it, it just waved a leg at me.  I wonder if it had just emerged and was still drying its wings out.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading, UK, on 2009-04-18.

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