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Centris pallida are located in dry, hot environments of North America. Specifically, they are in Arizona, Nevada, southern California, New Mexico, and western Mexico. They are a very common bee (especially in Arizona), and are thus classified as Least Concern in terms of conservation. The fur and dark colored exoskeleton allow the bees to survive the cold nights in the desert. During the daytime, C. pallida are almost completely inactive, hiding in shade or in burrows to prevent overheating.
Centris pallida is a species of solitary bee native to North America. It lacks an accepted common name; however, it has been called the digger bee, the desert bee, and the pallid bee due to its actions, habitat, and color respectively. The solitary nature of this bee allows for a dual-strategy mating system which produces an evolutionarily stable state resistant to invading strategies. These bees have also evolved to withstand the high temperatures of their native habitat. C. pallida routinely has internal temperatures within 3 degrees Celsius of death.
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.
The two categories of behavior for C. pallida males are patrolling and hovering. These strategies are also used to find mates. In one category (the patrollers), male bees will patrol 3–6 centimeters above the ground in search of sites where buried virgin females will emerge. When a male bee finds such a site, he will dig 1–2 centimeters through the soil by gnawing at the surface with his jaws and using his forelegs to remove dirt from the excavation. If a female is found, he will attempt to mate with her either on the surface or at a nearby flower or tree. Other patrollers will sometimes attempt to steal a digging spot that another bee has found. If a bee has already found a female, another patroller bee may separate the male from the female so that it can copulate with the virgin. More often than not, the female (once found) will mate with either the male that found her or with an intruder.
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