Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 99–111

Biology and mating behavior of Xylocopa virginica L. (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae)

  • Dan Gerling
  • Henry R. Hermann

DOI: 10.1007/BF00294984

Cite this article as:
Gerling, D. & Hermann, H.R. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1978) 3: 99. doi:10.1007/BF00294984


The biology and behavior of Xylocopa virginica L. were followed in the area of Athens, Georgia (USA) from August 1973 until September 1974. Several nests were X-rayed regularly during the developmental period of the bees, and information about the life cycle and development was obtained. The bees emerge in June and stay in their nests with their sibs throughout the summer, fall, and winter, leaving only occasionally on warm days to search for nectar as food. In March and April males defend nest-side territories and mate with most females. The males die in the late spring and the females dig nests, provision them, and rear up to 8 or 9 bees in each nest. Many females live 2 years, and often 2 to 3 females are present in each nest, but only 1 works and lays eggs. Emergence of adults from pupae is nearly synchronized, irrespective of age.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Gerling
    • 1
  • Henry R. Hermann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, The George S. Wise Center for Life SciencesTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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