I was going to paint the regular Carpenter Bee the one I see most of here but yesterday on the way home, on a straggly patch of horsemint, I noticed one that seemed to have slightly more gingery hair and a brighter blue sheen to its body, then I saw its eyes, its beautiful pale green/blue eyes. Wow…this is the male of Xylocopa micans, the Southern Carpenter Bee.
My only two half decent photos.. there is always something in the way !!
I read these are common in Florida so I probably just hadn’t noticed the subtle colour differences before.
ORDER: Hymenoptera, Bees, wasps, ants and sawflies.
SUPERFAMILY: Apoidea. Bees and some wasps.
FAMILY: Apidae. Bees.
GENUS: Xylocopa. Large Carpenter Bees
SPECIES: Xylocopa micans
The point of male carpenters having such huge eyes seems to be to help them spot females and also to fly in low light conditions.
PS. I really do sympathise with those whose houses have been drilled and perforated by these nice bees. It must be very frustrating. Trying to find an humane suggestion, it seems they don’t care for pressure-treated or painted wood. You can stuff the holes with wire wool which even they find a challenge and if you are a very noisy family they will move out. They don’t like noise. That’s probably why we didn’t see any in Spain.
I had planned a quite different pose for the Carpenter Bee but the eyes have it, so a quick drawing to sort the pose out.
Bee No 6:The Southern Carpenter Bee Xylocpa micans