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Anthophora edwardsii Cresson, 1878


Scientific Name: Anthophora edwardsii Cresson, 1878

Common Name: Edward s Digger Bee


Anthophora Edwardsii Cresson, 1878: 190 [♀,♂‚]

     Syntypes ♀,♂‚. USA, California; Nevada, by H. Edwards [ANSP]

Anthophora Gohrmanae Cockerell, 1903: 454 [♂‚]

     Holotype ♂‚. USA, New Mexico, Las Vegas, 7 May 1903, by A. Gohrman, on Ribes longiflorum []

Anthophora (Anthemoessa) gorhmanae Criddle 1926: 106. Lapsus of Anthophora gohrmanae Cockerell.

Anthophora gohrmanae var. coloradensis Michener, 1936: 92 [♂‚ ♀]

     Holotype ♂. USA, Colorado, Montrose [Cockerell Collection].



Thorp (1969) studied the biology of this species, indicating that it possessed several unusual biological characteristics for the genus. It will nest in large aggregations, with females displaying aggressive behavior towards intruders at the nest site. Each female constructing single-celled nests in compacted sandy soil, with each nest about 7.5 to 10 cm deep, lacking turrets. Completed cells are plugged with soil from the cell cap to the surface on completion. Interesting, this species does not spin cocoons, and pupates in the autumn and overwinter as adults in their natal cells. The cleptoparasitic bee Melecta separata callura (Cockerell) is an important parasite, accounting for over 20% mortality at A. edwardsii nesting aggregations (Thorph 1969).



Cresson ET (1878) Descriptions of new species of North American bees. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 30: 181-221.

Cockerell TDA (1903) North-American bees, and a new Homopteron. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (7) 12: 442 455.

Michener CD (1936) Some western Anthophoridae (Hymen.). Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 31(3): 92-95.

Thorp RW (1969) Ecology and behavior of Anthophora edwardsii (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae). American Midland Naturalist 82(2): 321-337.


Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Polylectic
Wintering Stage: Adult

Crop Preference: Brassica sp.
Non Crop Preference: Astragalus sp., Eriogonum sp., Salix sp., Salvia sp., Phacelia sp., Cryptantha sp., Ribes sp., Amsinckia sp., Layia sp., Plagiobothrys sp., Brodiaea sp., Orthocarpus sp., Solanum sp.

Distribution: British Columbia
Ecozone: Montane Cordillera, Western Interior Basin

female; lateral view
female; lateral view
male; lateral view
male; lateral view

Distribution Map