|Description:||Under a very low magnification of only 24x, this scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image revealed the rear leg anatomy of a carpenter bee, Xylocopa virginica, at the region of the "tibial spur". These spurs, which are exoskeletal protuberances, enable the bee to grasp various floral structures, thereby, enhancing its maneuverability inside the flower while it obtained its nectar meal, and pollinated the plant.|
The rear leg tibiae in the male Xylocopa virginica, are adorned with only one spur, while female bees display two spurs per tibia. The leg spurs also directly facilitate the pollination process. When they are used to grasp floral structures such as the filaments, which are attached to the pollen-producing anthers, they move up and over these structures, thereby, scraping off pollen, and dispersing it throughout the flower, or on to the bee directly.