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Large Bee - Xylocopa varipuncta - male

Large Bee - Xylocopa varipuncta - Male
Garden Grove, Orange County, California, USA
May 26, 2006
Size: 1 inch

Images of this individual: tag all
Large Bee - Xylocopa varipuncta - male Large Bee - Xylocopa varipuncta - male

Spotted in UK
Hello Fellow Bee lovers, Thanks for your time, Just to say Myself and my Partner have just seen one of these Lovely golden Carpenter Bee in our Garden, it was more interested in my partners cuppa coffee than in us or flowers, this is in the UK,Hertfordshire. Welwyn Garden City, weather here Sunny with over cast and showers Temp in shade 15c , will keep an Eye out for more.. Many Thanks hypahippy & hypababe. ; ¬ )


It's a Valley Carpenter Bee
When an image has been identified and placed in the guide, as this was, both the scientific and common names appear at the top of the page.

You must be somewhere in the southwest, if you have one of these - is that right?

I have one of these
I just took several pictures of one of these bees on my property this morning and reading everything here I still don't know what kind of bee it is. Wish I could upload the pictures here. I think it has an injured wing. I found it upside down.

Sorry I replied in the wrong place
See my comment above.

Xylocopa varipunctata
not X. californica! I suggest to move these photos to the appropriate page to avoid confusion! But wonderful photos of a male! I have yet to see these guys holding still long enough for me to get that good a picture.
I agree with Chuck Entz. X. californica males are dark (metallic blue) like the females, but a bit smaller, and with a yellow face. For reference, see Charles Hogue's book here: (1). I've also seen specimen at the UC Entomology Research Museum, Riverside.

Of the three species of Xylocopa in Southern California, only X. varipunctata's males are 'blond'. As far as common names are concerned, this is the Valley Carpenter Bee, so you've got the common name right.

Blond honey bee
Since I really don't know what I am talking about because bees are something I don't know, is this a Valley Carpenter Bee (x. varipunctata) and is it a male?

My friend lives in Clovis, CA and she said that this bee was very nervous and did not want to sit very long. She used her camera phone to take the picture.

So is this normal for a male of this type of bee to be blond?

All the males do is patrol sets of plants
in search of females, stopping once in a while to tank up nectar as flight fuel.
Occasionally there are some gynandromorphs (part male, part female), with one side black and the other blondish. I've only seen specimens so far.

Yes, that's the usual male color
see guide. I have one that visits my Pasadena front yard - I had to capture and chill it in the fridge to get a closer look for ID purposes - it darts about and hovers but almost never settles.

Welcome to Pasadena, Hannah -
and your family. Bring them to Eaton Canyon some time.

Thanks, Hartmut!
We haven't ventured far into Eaton Canyon yet because of the heat, but it's certainly on my short list for bug photography, when I get the time.

X. varipunctata's male
I have observed the males in Albuquerque, NM near the Rio Grande in April 2009. As you said never sat still long enough to get a photo.

Valley Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa californica) - male
An unmistakable Western bee, whose color and proportions are quite peculiar. The black female has much less special features.

I'm confused...
Isn't Xylocopa varipunctata the one with the light-colored males? It seems odd that the most visible and distinctive species in California isn't the one named californica, but that's the way I learned it.

Moved to guide
thanks, Richard for the ID. This are some stunning shots of this handsome bee.

Thanks for the ID
Thanks Guys . That's cool my pic's will be in the guide.


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