Bee of the Month – Anthophora bomboides
Ever spotted a bumble-bee in your garden who didn’t act quite like a bumble-bee? It’s very possible that instead you had a different visitor, the easily mistakable Anthophora bomboides.
Unlike its fellow Anthophora, this particular species of “digger bee” has quite the atypical appearance; rather than sporting the usual black and white stripes of other Anthophora, bomboides fully lives up to its name as a “bumble-bee mimic,” with its variation on the bumble-bee’s fuzzy, black and yellow stripes. A bit smaller than the bumble-bee, however, Anthophora bomboides are usually medium-sized like other Anthophora.
Among the five sub-species that exist in the United States, the ones most common in California are out mid to late Summer, and can be found on Penstemon and California Lilac. Anthophora bomboides are found across much of California, but are more abundant along the coastal regions.
Look out for these sneaky bumble-bee mimics in your garden!