What was this insect the burrowed into my hair?
August 24, 2012 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Calling all Mefi Entomologists! On a trip in the Peruvian Amazon (Manu National Park), I broke a small log that was suspended over a shallow creek. Apparently, it held an insect nest, because ten seconds later everyone in our group was jumping around and batting at these tiny flying insects which buzzed straight into our hair and got tangled up. They didn't sting, but our guide described them as "haircutter bees" and said they would bite through strands of hair. They were smaller than honeybees and all black, I believe. Anyone have any idea what this insect was or a Latin name?
posted by dahliachewswell to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do any of these look like a match?
posted by jquinby at 5:28 PM on August 24, 2012

The alleged long-horned bee on that page could be a match, but I didn't get a great look. Good resource!
posted by dahliachewswell at 5:47 PM on August 24, 2012

The scientific name of the "abeja corta pelo" seems to be Scaptotrigona postica. I'm having trouble finding a good general source, but here's a Google image search.
posted by trip and a half at 5:48 PM on August 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

There's good information on S. postica in the flickr thread here. I came across some references to Trigona Mexicana as well, but no pictures or anything. :(
posted by jquinby at 6:14 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

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