Centris pallida is a species of solitary bee native to North America. It lacks an accepted common name; however, it has been called the digger bee, the desert bee, and the pallid bee due to its actions, habitat, and color respectively. The solitary nature of this bee allows for a dual-strategy mating system which produces an evolutionarily stable state resistant to invading strategies. These bees have also evolved to withstand the high temperatures of their native habitat. C. pallida routinely has internal temperatures within 3 degrees Celsius of death.
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Four varieties of bacteria have been found in the bee bread of the larva: Bacillus circulans, B. coagulans, B. firmus, and B. megaterium. Only the Bacillus genus has been found in the samples taken. Together, these four species were able to hydrolyze starch, ferment glucose, convert nitrates to nitrites, and produce dihydroxyacetone from glycerol. This group of bacteria also lowers the pH of the bee bread. These functions serve not only to protect the larva from other bacteria, but they also digest complex molecules which allow the larva to easily absorb nutrients without expending a lot of energy. The bacteria, in turn, receive a supply of food which results in a mutualistic relationship.[13]
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The egg will then hatch within two weeks, and the grub will eat the nourishment that the mother left. The amount of bee bread provided will directly affect the size of the offspring (more food = larger size). When the food has been eaten and the grub has fully developed, the grub will turn into a prepupa. Over the course of eleven months, the prepupa will undergo metamorphosis to become an adult bee. The adult bee will then dig to the surface in late April or early May, and will live for about a month. By late July, virtually no C. pallida can be found.[7]
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Centris pallida typically feed on flowers that can withstand the hot temperatures of its habitat. These plants include palo verde (Cercidium microphyllum and Cercidium floridium), ironwood (Olnyea tesota), and creosote bush (Larrea divaricata).[9] The palo verde pollen is the most common, and it gives the bee bread a strong orange color.[7] Due to the large expenditure of energy by males during hovering and/or patrolling, they must consume about 3.5 times their body weight in nectar each day.[10]

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Male C. pallida are able detect the pheromones which females release and use them to locate female burrows. When a virgin female is about to emerge from her burrow, she releases a scent that wafts up through the soil and is detected by the antenna of the males. This has led to males developing a very acute olfactory sense. Freshly-killed females have been buried to test whether sound also plays a part in male signaling. In these tests, male bees still dug up the dead females, proving that pheromone signaling is the only pathway. Males have also been observed to dig up other males. This shows that males and virgin females give off similar pheromones. Oddly, males also sometimes dig up other digger bee species. It is currently unknown why this occurs.[6]
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