They get the name 'carder' from their behaviour of scraping hair from leaves such as lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina). They carry this hair bundled beneath their bodies to be used as a nest lining. Like other members of the tribe Anthidiini, these bees do not cut leaves or petals as is typical for megachilids.
Anthidium manicatum is originally an Old World bee. It has a wingspan of approximately 20 millimetres (0.79 in), with a body length of about 11–13 mm (0.43–0.51 in) for females, and 14–17 mm (0.55–0.67 in) for males. This bee is mostly black and yellow, with some orange fur. There are also some yellow markings present on the legs and sides of the abdomen. The males are substantially larger than females.
Anthidium manicatum is found in parts of Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. It has also recently been documented in the Canary Islands, and South American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. This species is now present in New Zealand.
This insect was accidentally introduced into the United States from Europe sometime prior to 1963, when it was discovered in New York State. It has since spread from the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada across the United States to California, where it was first collected in 2007.
In Europe, this species is normally found in gardens, fields, and meadows in the southern part of Wales and England, but is localized in other places within the United Kingdom, where they can be seen from May to September. It is the only species of Anthidium to be found in England.
Males are highly aggressive against other males of this species, as well as other visitors to the flowers in its territory. They will also defend Anthidium manicatum females, although they do harass them by holding them immobile and repeatedly attempting to mate.
Females collect "down" from such plants as lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina). They scrape the hairs from the leaves and carry them back to their nests bundled beneath their bodies. There it is used as a lining for their nest cavities. Both males and females hover near flowers similar to flies in the family Syrphidae.
Anthidium manicatum consumes the pollen from flowers of varying families. They are thus considered to be generalists. They visit garden flowers and weeds preferring blue flowers that have long throats with Old World origins.
- Anthidium manicatum manicatum (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Anthidium manicatum barbarum Lepeletier, 1841
- Anthidium manicatum gribodoi Schwarz and Gusenleitner, 2003
- Apis manicata Linnaeus, 1758
- Apis pervigil Harris, 1776
- Apis maculata Fabricius, 1781
- Apis fulvipes de Villers, 1789 (homonym)
- Apis modesta Christ, 1791
- Apis amoenita Christ, 1791
- Apis uncata Schrank, 1802
- Anthidium maculatum Latreille, 1806 (homonym)
- Anthidium marginatum Latreille, 1809
- Anthidium obtusatum Lepeletier, 1841
- Anthidium productum Lepeletier, 1841
- Anthidium manicatum var. nigrithorax Dalla Torre, 1877
- Anthidium manicatum var. fasciatum Schirmer, 1915
- Anthidium manicatum var. nasicolle Friese, 1917
- Anthidium manicatum var. luteus Gribodo, 1924 (homonym)
- Anthidium manicatum subcrenulata Alfken, 1930
- Anthidium manicatum cyrenaica van der Zanden, 1992 (homonym)
- Species Anthidium manicatum – European Wool Carder Bee – BugGuide.Net
- Wool Carder Bee / Leafcutting Bee – Anthidium manicatum
- Anthidium manicatum – Wool Carder Bee, Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society
- Wool Carder Bees – Anthidium manicatum – UK Safari
- Michener, C.D. (2000). The Bees of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press. 913 pp.
- Anthidium manicatum (Linnaeus, 1758), Discover Life
- L. L. Pechuman (1967). "Observations on the behavior of the bee Anthidium manicatum (L.)". Journal of the New York Entomological Society 75 (2): 68–73. JSTOR 25006048.
- Anthidium manicatum – Definition and Scientific Information – Page 1
- Anthidium manicatum – Wool Carder Bee
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- Donovan, B. J. (2007). "Apoidea (Insecta: Hymenoptera)". Fauna of New Zealand 57.
- Donovan, B. J., G. Burnip & B. McCarthy (2006). "The wool-carder bee, Anthidium manicatum, from the Old World, is newly established in New Zealand". New Zealand Beekeeper 14 (5): 11–12, 25–26.
- Hoebeke, E. R. & A. G. Wheeler, Jr. (1999). "Anthidium oblongatum (Illiger): an Old World bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) new to North America, and new North American records for another adventive species, A. manicatum (L.)". Special Publication (University of Kansas Natural History Museum) 24: 21–24.
- Payette, A. (2001). "Première mention de l'abeille adventice Anthidium manicatum (Linné) (Hymenoptera : Megachilidae) pour le Québec.". Fabreries 26: 87–97.
- Severinghaus Lucia Liu, Barbara Harris Kurtak & George C. Eickwort (1981). "The reproductive behavior of Anthidium manicatum (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) and the significance of size for territorial males". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 9 (1): 51–58. doi:10.1007/BF00299853. JSTOR 4599410.
- Smith, I. (1991). "Anthidium manicatum (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), an interesting new Canadian record". Proceeding of Entomological Society of Ontario 122: 105–108.
- Starks, P. T. & H. K. Reeve (1999). "Condition-based alternative reproductive tactics in the wool-carder bee, Anthidium manicatum" (PDF). Ethology Ecology & Evolution 11: 71–75. doi:10.1080/08927014.1999.9522843.
- Wirtz, Peter, Michael Szabados, Horst Pethig & John Plant (1988). "An extreme case of interspecific territoriality: male Anthidium manicatum (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) wound and kill intruders". Ethology 78 (2): 159–167. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.1988.tb00227.x.
- Zavortink, T. J. & S. S. Shanks (2008). "Anthidium manicatum (Linnaeus) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in California". Pan-Pacific Entomologist 84 (3): 238–241. doi:10.3956/2007-47.1.