Female Valley Carpenter Bee

Subject: Large black ??
Location: San Diego CA, coastal
January 27, 2017 4:18 pm
Hi, What do I have crawling in my succulent outdoors? I splashed water and accidentally knocked back this huuge bee-like creature. Now it is moving as if blind, slowly reaching out to feel for something to move to (although maybe it also did that before I saw it). It is nearly 1.5 inches long, 6 black fuzzy legs, everything black except iridescent wings with magenta color. So big. Struggling–it is late January. My pics aren’t showing the full length.
Signature: Bug Watcher of My Yard

Female Valley Carpenter Bee

Dear Bug Watcher,
This is a female Valley Carpenter Bee, a species that nests in dead branches, telephone poles and other places where a gallery can be burrowed into wood.  They sometimes nest in exposed house beams.  Valley Carpenter Bees exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism, and the males are golden and look like a different species, an observation that is really evident when they are mating.

THANK YOU so much for this information AND the work you do!

1 thought on “Female Valley Carpenter Bee”

  1. Just saw a Female Sonoran Carpenter Bee in the poppy in the backyard in Oakland, CA. Definitely not a carpenter bee.


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