Thistles are often maligned as a painful weed, but they support several native specialists and are visited by a variety of species.
Thistle Long-horned Bee (Melissodes desponsus)
About the size of a worker Bumble Bee, this bee is often found on thistle in the Champlain Valley and sporadically elsewhere.
Thistle Longhorn-Cuckoo (Triepeolus donatus)
A cleptoparasite of the Thistle Longhorn, this species is possible to ID from photos and worth looking for around nice thistle patches.
Texas Mason Bee (Osmia texana)
A distinctive, summer Mason Bee, this is one of our rarest bees. Only known from a handleful of Champlain Valley records.
Unarmed Leafcutter Bee (Megachile inermis)
This large, northern leafcutter seems to have a strong preference burdock and thistles, though is occasionally found on other composites.
Distribution: To see the global distribution of Thistles, check out the iNaturalist account, and toggle the GBIF layer on the map.