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Phantom of the forest: how I rediscovered the rare cloaked bee in Australia, hidden for a century

By James B. Dorey, PhD Candidate, Flinders University
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It’s not often you get to cast your eyes on a creature feared to be long-gone.

Perhaps that’s why my recent rediscovery of the native bee species Pharohylaeus lactiferus is so exciting — especially after it spent a century eluding researchers.

But how did it stay out of sight for so long?

A creature overshadowed


Australia is home to 1654 named species of native bee. Unfortunately, these are often overshadowed


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