Centris mixta

Oil Bee

Centris mixta, a Neotropical bee, photo from Peru


Family: Apidae

Subfamily: Apinae

Tribe: Centridini

Length: 10 - 25 mm in the genus


The 144 species of Centris are primarily Neotropical, with a number of species that also range into the northern and southern temperate zones.   These are robust bees with lots of pale hairs.  Members of the genus are solitary, ground-nesting bees (a few nest in pre-existing holes in dead wood, but bring in soil to make the nest). Typically females visit flowers and collect edible oils, pollen, and nectar with which to provision their cells.

This species, C. mixta, is distributed from Ecuador to Chile.

Photo location: Paracas, Pisco province, Peru.

American Insects site