Thought by many to be extinct, the Blue Calamintha bee, last sighted in 2016 at Archbold Biological Station near Lake Placid, Florida, has been rediscovered! Believed to be among the most geographically restricted bees in eastern North America, this species was only known to occur in four sites within a 16 square mile area of pine scrub habitat at Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge. In spring 2020, a researcher with the Florida Museum of Natural History, who is currently studying the blue bee’s status, spotted the bee in the field. The researcher went on to locate the bee in three of its previously known locations and in six new places as far as 50 miles away. This discovery is a major step towards conserving this understudied and exceedingly rare species and shows the importance of conserving habitats.
Blue bee, Florida Museum of Natural History, by Chase Kimmel.