Oblong woolcarder bee (Anthidium oblongatum) thrives in human-disturbed landscapes like roadsides, backyards, and the margins of agricultural fields. This exotic anthidiine has a strong preference for exotic legumes like birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and crownvetch (Securigera varia). This bee is distinctive with a squat build, green eyes, orange tegulae, and bold black-and-yellow patterning along the abdomen.
One generation per year. A. oblongatum is active from late May through October.
Widespread. Introduced to North America in the 1995 and now common throughout population centers of the northeast, from Virginia north through Vermont. It is also widespread in its native range in Europe, north Africa, and western Asia.
Size < honey bee
Males and females are similar in size. Strongly black-and-yellow markings with roughly textured (like sandpaper) integument. Green eyes are distinctive among regional anthiidines. Orange tegulae. Black abdomen with yellow bands with an evenly wide gap down the middle. Bright orange legs.
Males of A. oblongatum are not noticeably larger than females and do not aggressively defend flower territories.
- Anthidium manicatum males are much larger with dark tegulae and spines on the tip of the abdomen.
- Anthidiellum notatum has dark eyes, black tegulae, yellow markings on thorax, and small yellow spots (not bands) on abdomen.
A. oblongatum nests above ground in a diversity of above-ground cavities including hollow stems, stone walls, and holes in cement walls. Nests are lined with plant materials including leaves and trichomes.
Generalized, but with a strong preference for exotic legumes like crownvetch Securigera varia and bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), composite Asteraceae (e.g. Heliopsis, Erigeron), and other garden plants for nectar like sedum Hylotelephium, mountain mints Pycnanthemum, and flowering thyme Thymus.
Not known to be associated with any parasite species in its introduced range in North America.
Page last updated:
January 31, 2023