Genus Anthophora includes 2 species so far known from VT. The Bumble-bee-mimic Digger Bee (Anthophora bomboides) is an incredible Bumble Bee mimic while the Orange-tipped Wood-digger Bee (Anthophora terminalis) is equally well named.
Photos in the grid are courtesy of Margarita Miklasevskaja at PCYU with funding from NSERC-CANPOLIN.
Genus level ID
Actively primarily during the height of summer these two species can be found statewide though are rarely abundant. Look for them in gardens and shrubby woodlands.
This genus is relatively distinct from other bee genera in the state, though they do a good job mimicking Bumble Bees. Unlike Bumble Bees they have a protruding clypeus and lack the bare corbicula on the hind tibia (only on female, non-parasitic bumble bees). They appear more compact than other genera. Males of both species have yellow on their clypeus and surrounding face.
Bumble-bee-mimic Digger Bee (Anthophora bomboides) – This is a localized species that likes to build its nest in clay banks, and thus is often found near small rivers. The hair pattern of this species varies across the country, apparently to mimic the local Bumble Bee species. In Vermont the pattern of yellow and black is similar to the Half-Black Bumble Bee (Bombus vagans). Fond of Milkweed and Bergamont.
Orange-tipped Wood-digger Bee (Anthophora terminalis) – The orange tip on the abdomen is often obvious, otherwise they can be identified by the thin hair bands on a black abdomen. More common than the Bumble-bee-mimic Digger. Fond of jewel-weed, penstamon, and mints.
Please note that many of our datasets have not been published yet, so the maps are incomplete.