Western Carpenter Bee
The California carpenter bee, Xylocopa californica, is a species of carpenter bee in the order Hymenoptera. It is native to western North America.
Xylocopa californica is typically found in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Northwestern Mexico, with outlying records in Montana, Kansas, and Louisiana. It is especially abundant, along with Xylocopa sonorina, in the Central Valley and in Southern California, including the Mojave Desert. They are agriculturally beneficial insects and pollinators of diverse California chaparral and woodlands and desert native plant species. This carpenter bee is active during hot seasons. Therefore, they are considered an endothermic insect as it absorbs heat in the desert conditions. As the bee absorbs too much heat in its body, it has to limit the time it flies and fly in the time of day in which it is cooler.
Their head is larger and thicker than their thorax; however, the size of the head differs between females and males. Female carpenter bees have bigger heads than males with more narrow heads. The California carpenter bee is all black, with bluish/greenish reflections. The males typically have at least a few light hairs on the pronotum (dorsal prothorax) and the abdominal segments. The California Carpenter bees have hair on their heads and a majority of their hair lays in the lower part of their head and cheeks compared to the sparse hairs on the top of the head. The female carpenter bees' hair is black, while the male carpenter bees' hair is yellow and yellowish colors. Subspecies The species has three named subspecies, defined solely by coloration and geography: - Xylocopa californica arizonensis Cresson, 1879 - Xylocopa californica californica Cresson, 1864 - Xylocopa californica diamesa Hurd, 1954
- Carpenter bees
- Discoverlife.org: Photo gallery of Xylocopa californica (Western Carpenter Bee) — with list of host plants. - BugGuide.Net: Xylocopa californica — Western Carpenter Bee — images.