Fidelia paradoxa is the type species of the genus Fidelia (Friese 1899, Brauns 1905). It is a robust, hairy, fast-flying, solitary bee that inhabits arid regions of southern Africa. In this habitat rainfall is largely limited to the winter months while summers are hot and dry. F. paradoxa fly from early spring to summer (August to February), collecting pollen from flowers of herbs, mostly in the ice plant family Aizoaceae (Rozen 1970, Whitehead 1984, Whitehead and Eardley 2003). Unlike most other bees in the area they remain active after the spring floral flush and may play an essential role as pollinators of later-flowering plants (Whitehead and Eardley 2003). Nests are build in burrows in the ground. Females have particularly long hairs on the ventral side of the abdomen, which function as a pollen-carrying apparatus (scopa). The hind legs also have scopa-like hairs, but these are not used to carry pollen (Whitehead and Eardley 2003).
- Brauns, H. 1905. Zur Kenntnis der Bienengattung Fidelia Friese. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 55:493-497.
- Friese, H. 1899. Monographie der Bienengattungen Megacilissa, Caupolicana und Oxaea. Nachtrag zum 1. Theil. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 14:239-246.
- Rozen, J. G., Jr. 1970. Biology, immature stages, and phylogenetic relationships of fideliine bees, with the description of a new species of Neofidelia (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). American Museum Novitates 2427:1-25.
- Whitehead, V. B. 1984. Distribution, biology and flower relationships of fideliid bees of southern Africa (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Fidelidae). South African Journal of Zoology 19(2): 87-90.
- Whitehead, V. B. and C. D. Eardley. 2003. African Fideliini: Genus Fidelia Friese (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Megachilidae: Fideliinae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 76:2250–276.
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