Centris pallida serve numerous roles for the environment. Like most other bees, they are essential for pollination. Specifically, they pollinate cacti, desert willow, and palo verde. The tunneling ability of these bees aerates the soil, and this allows water from rain to reach plant roots quickly. Their nitrogen rich feces fertilizes the soil. Their stings are mild, so they are not dangerous. The only downside with respect to humans is that their burrowing can leave unsightly mounds. If an area has a large density of burrowing females, then these mounds can be quite noticeable and are difficult to get rid of.
Centris pallida was officially discovered and catalogued by William J. Fox in 1899 near Phoenix, Arizona. Fox also discovered Centris cockerelli, Centris errans, and Sphex subhyalinus. This species is closely related to Centris cockerelli in terms of habitat and genus, but is different in terms of mating, color, and subgenus. This bee also belongs to the superfamily Apoidea, and the subfamily Apinae.
Desert birds and lizards are predators of C. pallida, and these bees can be parasitized by the meloid beetle (Tegrodera erosa); however, rain is the largest threat to these bees. At night and during the heat of the day, C. pallida bees will hide under rocks, trees, in burrows, etc. When it rains, the bees can get wet. If the bee is in a burrow, it may simply drown. If the bee is underneath something, when night comes, the bee may freeze to death due to the low temperatures in the desert. Since these bees are solitary, they don’t have the protection of a hive or colony; thus, they are more susceptible to the elements.
The Centris 610 and 650 were replaced about six months after their introduction by the Quadra 610 and 650 models, which kept the same case and designs but raised the CPU speeds from 20 MHz and 25 MHz to 25 MHz and 33 MHz respectively; while the Centris 660AV was renamed to Quadra 660AV without any actual design change. These Macs also existed during Apple's transition from auto-inject floppy drives to manual-inject drives. This is why there are two different styles of floppy drive bezel (faceplate) on these models. Some later Centris 660AV Macs have manual-inject floppy drives, so this change was not exactly concurrent with the name change.
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