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Temporal range: Late OligoceneHolocene
Bee March 2008-14.jpg
Male Anthophora plumipes
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Apinae
Tribe: Anthophorini

The Anthophorini are a large tribe in the subfamily Apinae of the family Apidae. Species in this tribe are often referred to as digger bees, although this common name is sometimes also applied to members of the tribe Centridini. It contains over 750 species worldwide, all of which were previously classified in the obsolete family Anthophoridae along with members of several other tribes; the vast majority of species in the tribe Anthophorini are in the genera Amegilla and Anthophora .



All Anthophorini species are solitary, though many nest in large aggregations. Nearly all species make nests in the soil, either in banks or in flat ground; the larvae develop in cells with waterproof linings and do not spin cocoons.

The characters used to define this group are subtle, but they are nonetheless fairly recognizable.


Related Research Articles

Bee Clade of insects

Bees are insects with wings closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the western honey bee, for producing honey. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea. They are presently considered a clade, called Anthophila. There are over 16,000 known species of bees in seven recognized biological families. Some species – including honey bees, bumblebees, and stingless bees – live socially in colonies while most species (>90%) – including mason bees, carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, and sweat bees – are solitary.

Bee-eater Widespread group of insectivorous bird species in the family Meropidae

The bee-eaters are a group of non-passerine birds in the family Meropidae, containing three genera and twenty-seven species. Most species are found in Africa and Asia, with a few in southern Europe, Australia, and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All have long down-turned bills and medium to long wings, which may be pointed or round. Male and female plumages are usually similar.

Hoverfly Insect

Hoverflies, also called flower flies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. As their common name suggests, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers; the adults of many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In some species, the larvae are saprotrophs, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In other species, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects.

Bumblebee Genus of insect

A bumblebee is any of over 250 species in the genus Bombus, part of Apidae, one of the bee families. This genus is the only extant group in the tribe Bombini, though a few extinct related genera are known from fossils. They are found primarily in higher altitudes or latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, although they are also found in South America, where a few lowland tropical species have been identified. European bumblebees have also been introduced to New Zealand and Tasmania. Female bumblebees can sting repeatedly, but generally ignore humans and other animals.

Swift (bird) Family of birds

The swifts are a family, Apodidae, of highly aerial birds. They are superficially similar to swallows, but are not closely related to any passerine species. Swifts are placed in the order Apodiformes with hummingbirds. The treeswifts are closely related to the true swifts, but form a separate family, the Hemiprocnidae.

Apidae Taxonomic family that includes honey bees (sting or stingless), bumble bees and orchid bees

Apidae is the largest family within the superfamily Apoidea, containing at least 5700 species of bees. The family includes some of the most commonly seen bees, including bumblebees and honey bees, but also includes stingless bees, carpenter bees, orchid bees, cuckoo bees, and a number of other less widely known groups. Many are valuable pollinators in natural habitats and for agricultural crops.

Megachilidae cosmopolitan family of bees

Megachilidae is a cosmopolitan family of mostly solitary bees whose pollen-carrying structure is restricted to the ventral surface of the abdomen. Megachilid genera are most commonly known as mason bees and leafcutter bees, reflecting the materials from which they build their nest cells ; a few collect plant or animal hairs and fibers, and are called carder bees, while others use plant resins in nest construction and are correspondingly called resin bees. All species feed on nectar and pollen, but a few are kleptoparasites, feeding on pollen collected by other megachilid bees. Parasitic species do not possess scopae. The motion of Megachilidae in the reproductive structures of flowers is energetic and swimming-like; this agitation releases large amounts of pollen.

Bombyliidae Family of flies

The Bombyliidae are a family of flies. Their common name are bee flies or humbleflies. Adults generally feed on nectar and pollen, some being important pollinators. Larvae generally are parasitoids of other insects.

Halictidae Family of bees

Halictidae is the second-largest family of bees. Halictid species occur all over the world and are usually dark-colored and often metallic in appearance. Several species are all or partly green and a few are red; a number of them have yellow markings, especially the males, which commonly have yellow faces, a pattern widespread among the various families of bees. The family is distinguished by the arcuate basal vein found on the wing.

Colletidae Family of bees

The Colletidae are a family of bees, and are often referred to collectively as plasterer bees or polyester bees, due to the method of smoothing the walls of their nest cells with secretions applied with their mouthparts; these secretions dry into a cellophane-like lining. The five subfamilies, 54 genera, and over 2000 species are all evidently solitary, though many nest in aggregations. Two of the subfamilies, Euryglossinae and Hylaeinae, lack the external pollen-carrying apparatus that otherwise characterizes most bees, and instead carry the pollen in their crops. These groups, and most genera in this family, have liquid or semiliquid pollen masses on which the larvae develop.

<i>Anthophora</i> Genus of bees

The bee genus Anthophora is one of the largest in the family Apidae, with over 450 species worldwide in 14 different subgenera. They are most abundant and diverse in the Holarctic and African biogeographic regions. All species are solitary, though many nest in large aggregations. Nearly all species make nests in the soil, either in banks or in flat ground; the larvae develop in cells with waterproof linings and do not spin cocoons. Males commonly have pale white or yellow facial markings, and/or peculiarly modified leg armature and hairs. Anthophora individuals can be distinguished from the very similar genus Amegilla by the possession of an arolium between the tarsal claws.

Blue-breasted bee-eater Species of bird

The blue-breasted bee-eater is a central African species of bird. It is a member of the family Meropidae. Meropids are all visually similar and have a diet specialized in Hymenopterans.

<i>Amegilla</i> Genus of insects, blue-banded bees

Amegilla is a large genus of bees in the tribe Anthophorini. Several species have blue metallic bands on the abdomen, and are referred to as "blue-banded bees". The genus occurs all around the world but very few live above 45° North.

Wasp Members of the order Hymenoptera which are not ants nor bees

A wasp is any insect of the narrow-waisted suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera which is neither a bee nor an ant; this excludes the broad-waisted sawflies (Symphyta), which look somewhat like wasps but are in a separate suborder. The wasps do not constitute a clade, a complete natural group with a single ancestor, as their common ancestor is shared by bees and ants. Many wasps, those in the clade Aculeata, can sting their insect prey.

<i>Amegilla cingulata</i> Species of bee

Amegilla cingulata is a species of blue-banded bees that is native to Australia and occurs in many other regions. Currently, several scientific organizations are conducting research on how A. cingulata benefits agriculture through its distinctive "buzz pollination".

<i>Amegilla bombiformis</i> Species of bee from Australia

Amegilla bombiformis, commonly known as the teddy bear bee or golden haired mortar bee, is an Australian native bee in the family Apidae.

<i>Amegilla dawsoni</i> Species of burrowing bee from Australia

Amegilla dawsoni, sometimes called the Dawson's burrowing bee, is a species of bee that nests by the thousands in arid claypans in Western Australia. It is a long tongued bee, of the tribe Anthophorini and genus Amegilla, the second largest genus in Anthophorini.

<i>Anthophora plumipes</i> Species of bee

The hairy-footed flower bee is a species of bee belonging to the family Apidae.

<i>Trigona corvina</i> Species of bee

Trigona corvina is a species of stingless bee that lives primarily in Central and South America. In Panama, they are sometimes known as zagañas. They live in protective nests high in the trees, but they can be extremely aggressive and territorial over their resources. They use their pheromones to protect their food sources and to signal their location to nest mates. This black stingless bees of the tribe Meliponini can be parasitic toward citrus trees but also helpful for crop pollination.

<i>Protohabropoda</i> Extinct genus of bees

Protohabropoda is an extinct genus of bees in the family Apidae known from a fossil found in Europe. The genus currently contains a single described species Protohabropoda pauli.


  1. Dehon, M.; Michez, D.; Nel, A.; Engel, M. S.; De Meulemeester, T. (2014). "Wing Shape of Four New Bee Fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) Provides Insights to Bee Evolution". PLOS ONE. 9 (10): 1–16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108865 . PMC   4212905 . PMID   25354170.