Is this a bee?
September 7, 2009
This insect was photographed in in early September, it looks a lot like a digger bee but it’s eyes are brown and not green. I have searched the net and all of my bug books but can’t ID it! Help!
Thanks, Rhonda
Tucson, AZ

Carpenter Bee, maybe

Digger Bee

Hi Rhonda,
Our first inclination is that this is some species of Carpenter Bee, but it doesn’t match the images on BugGuide.  We will check with Eric Eaton who may be able to assist in the ID.

Correction from Eric Eaton
Wow, what a fantastic image of a very active bee, a female in the genus Centris, family
Apidae.  I hope Rhonda considers posting this to Bugguide, as we have few high-quality images of this genus.  Dr. John Ascher is an expert on bees, and he visits Bugguide frequently..  He could probably identify this specimen to species.  Centris bees are solitary, like the overwhelming majority of native bee species, each female digging her own nest burrow.

Thanks for the prompt reply- and thank you and Eric Eaton for the ID- wonder how he knew it is female, amazing! If you want to post this image to Bugguide, you have my permission to do so, if you need a higher res photo just let me know (please include photo credits). Thank you again for the help.
Rhonda Spencer

Correction courtesy of John Ascher
April 22, 2012
Centris rhodopus female

Location: Arizona

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