Saturday 10 March 2012

Anthophora mating!

Since the early morning, a couple of beautifully fresh Anthophora plumipes males had been patrolling the garden, occasionally chasing each other or stopping to sunbathe a bit or feed on Erysimum, tete-a-tete daffodils or Hyacinths. After lunch, I noticed a female feeding on the Erysimums, the first of the year (just 5 days after the 1st male of the year). In a few seconds, a male spotted her and mating ensued immediately. It lasted long enough for me to grab the camera, dash outside and take a couple of shots (above and bottom shots). It is the first time I see a completed mating in this species.
Male grooming itself


RayHolden said...

What a magical thing to experience.
Many thanks for the photographs!

Africa Gomez said...

Thank you Ray. I am pretty chuffed with them, managing just two shots and getting them nice and sharp. I have seen tens of mating attempts but never a mating, I wonder if females mate very early after emergence and then they want nothing to do with males any more.

RayHolden said...

Well now, I never see A. plumipes locally (not sure why!) so I'm not the person to support your conjecture on their mating behaviour.
But I quite understand that an experience of males might produce a later rejection of males.