(order Hymenoptera, suborder Apocrita)
Large, diverse, cosmopolitan family of mainly solitary bees, with a few species which show some degree of sociality. Most species are long-tongued and have a rapid, darting flight. A pygidial plate (see pygidium) is present in the females of almost all species, and in most males. The clypeus is usually protuberant, and the anterior coxa is only slightly broader than long. The pollen scopa consists of hairs and is restricted to the hind tibiae and basitarsi. The family includes some of the largest bees. With the exception of the carpenter bees (Xylocopa, Ceratina, and related genera), which bore into solid wood or plant pith, all anthophorids are ground nesters. They line their brood cells with a water-proofing secretion of the Dufour's gland. One subfamily, the five genera comprising the Nomadinae, consists entirely of parasitic or cuckoo bees, the females of which have lost the pollen scopa and lay their eggs in the nests of other bee species.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.