New species of 'ant-like' desert bees have been discovered by a team of researchers.
Researchers have reported the identification of nine new species of the genus Perdita, including two ant-like males.
These solitary bees are not major pollinators of agricultural crops.
In the study, researchers have described that curious ant-like males of two of the species are completely different in appearance from their mates.
The tiny elusive bees by watching for their buzzing shadows in the blinding, midday sunlight the diminutive insects tend to favour. Their activity during the hottest part of the day may be a way of avoiding predators. They appear to be important pollinators of desert plants commonly known as 'Crinklemats'.
The scientists reported that the female bees use pollen collected from the flowers to build up a supply to nourish their young.
Once they have completed a pollen provision, the bees lay their eggs on the stash and leave their offspring to fend for themselves.