Ivan is quite right.
This isn't a Mason Bee but a Black or American Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens, quite easily distinguished by thoe white bands on the back legs :)
You can find it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetia_illucens
Thanks for posting such a fine photo of such an amazing creature, with such an interesting note. This is exactly what I was looking for.
Fantastic work !
Hi Ron, I wish could view this because it looks great from the thumbnail & everyone else seems to like it. Sadly, I can only get it to load the top 2cm, the rest is all grey. I've gone off the page & back to it a few times but no luck yet ..... I'll try again later.
Beautiful colours. I wouldn't have thought this was an orchid at first glance. It is quite unlike anything we have here in New Zealand.
Interesting to read the origin of the word orchid too. I never knew.
Wonderful shot Luciano. What a beautiful spring photo, and I've learned something. I never realised that there were flowers called Snowflakes. I would have thought these were Snowdrops if it wasn't for your note. Thanks for sharing.
Lovely capture Brenda. What a beautiful coloured butterfly.
We have nothing like these occurring naturally in New Zealand.
In fact, I only see a few butterflies each year, usually Cabbage Whites or Admirals. You are so lucky to have these.
How to make a raptor look like a dove ;)
Great capture Tom. (BTW ... I had to look twice at that word metabates ... thought he was doing something other than preening ;)
Wonderful cature Zahoor. The pose is perfect to show off the coloured throat. Nicely composed too. Well done.
Nice one Nick. Lovely shot.
Great character in this capture.
This is a plant I'm very familiar with, having done lots of caving.
These are often around cave entrances. In the South Island we have Tree Nettles intead !