Orange-tipped Wood-digger

  • Name: Anthophora terminalis
  • Rank: species
  • Parent ID: 578068

ID: 198854

Anthophora terminalis is a species of anthophorine bee in the family Apidae. It is found in North America.

About Anthophora terminalis

Anthophora terminalis, better known as the Orange-tipped Wood-digger, is a fascinating bee species that can be found in various habitats across North America. These bees are characterized by their bright orange tips on their abdomens and long tongues that allow them to pollinate deep-throated flowers. Unlike other solitary bees, Anthophora terminalis excavates tunnels in wood or soil for nesting purposes. As its name suggests, this species of wood-digger is a master excavator, tirelessly burrowing through dead wood to create intricate tunnels for nesting and laying eggs. They prefer dry and sandy soils with sparse vegetation such as prairies, meadows, and forest edges.

The females of this species construct multiple brood cells within the tunnels where they lay their eggs on a ball of pollen mixed with nectar for food provision of the larvae when hatched. Interestingly enough, males have been observed sleeping inside empty brood cells at night during mating season, which suggests some form of territorial behavior. And, let’s not forget its impressive size – measuring up to 15mm long! Overall, Anthophora terminalis plays an important role in maintaining plant diversity through effective pollination while also contributing to soil formation through tunnel excavation activities.

Orange-tipped Wood-digger (Anthophora terminalis)
(c) molanic, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by molanic

Identification Characteristics

Anthophora terminalis, commonly known as the large carpenter bee or the eastern carpenter bee, is a species of bee found in various parts of North America. Here are some identification characteristics of the Orange-tipped Wood-digger:

Size: Anthophora terminalis is a medium-sized bee, with females measuring around 12 to 15 millimeters (0.5 to 0.6 inches) in length, while males are slightly smaller, typically ranging from 10 to 12 millimeters (0.4 to 0.5 inches).

Coloration: The body of Anthophora terminalis is predominantly black, with distinct yellow markings on the face, hence the common name “yellow-faced bee.” The yellow coloration can vary in intensity and pattern among individuals.

Appearance: Both male and female Anthophora terminalis bees have a robust and compact body structure. They have a shiny black exoskeleton, which may have a blue or purple metallic sheen to it. The abdomen is typically black and hairless.

Head: The head of Anthophora terminalis is large and somewhat square-shaped. It is usually black, but the males may have a patch of pale yellow or cream-colored hair on their faces. The compound eyes are large and usually black, and they possess strong jaws or mandibles.

Wings: The wings of large carpenter bees are transparent and slightly smoky in coloration. When at rest, the wings fold longitudinally along the body, extending beyond the abdomen.

Abdomen: The abdomen of Anthophora terminalis is typically black and shiny. It is cylindrical in shape and tapers toward the end. The females have a pointed, needle-like ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen.

Behavior: As the name suggests, carpenter bees are known for their ability to excavate nesting galleries in wood. Anthophora terminalis females construct their nests by drilling into dead or decaying wood, such as fence posts, trees, or wooden structures. Given a lack of wood, females may also construct individual nests in sandy or loose soil to lay their eggs. The males are often seen hovering around the nesting sites, protecting their territory.

Anthophora terminalis is a solitary bee species, which means that it does not form colonies or live in hives. They are efficient pollinators and are often found visiting a variety of flowers for nectar and pollen.

Flight Pattern: When in flight, Anthophora terminalis bees exhibit a distinct behavior known as “darting flight.” They move quickly and erratically, making sharp turns and sudden changes in direction.

These characteristics should help in identifying Orange-tipped Wood-digger, however, it’s worth noting that while these characteristics are generally accurate for Anthophora terminalis, there can be some variation in coloration and patterns among individuals. Therefore, consulting a comprehensive field guide or seeking expert advice from entomologists can provide more precise information for accurate identification.