Flower bees - Anthophora
A genus of fast flying solitary bees, which resemble small hyperactive bumblebees. A.plumipes, the hairy-footed flower bee is by far the commonest species and is one of the true harbringers of spring. All the males in this genus have distinctive yellow faces, a trait also shared by the female of A.bimaculata. Nest in holes in the ground or crevices, often forming large aggregations. Parasitised by Melecta species (plumipes & retusa) or Coelioxys species
Anthophora plumipes - common spring flying species, females black with orange hairs on the hind tibia, males brown and rotund.
Anthophora bimaculata - Restricted southern species with distinctive pale green eyes and yellow face in both sexes
Anthophora furcata - Widespread species, females have red tips to the tail, males have uniform yellow on face.
Anthophora quadrimaculata - A southern species, females lack the red tail of furcata, males have a distinctive facial pattern.
Anthophora retusa - Extremely rare species flying April to June, similar in appearance to plumipes but female has yellow spurs on the hind tibia instead of black and males have different hair lengths on the hind tibia.