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Galapagos carpenter bee

Galapagos carpenter bee
© Ian Henderson

Common name:

Galapagos carpenter bee

Scientific name:

Xylocopa darwini

Spanish name:

Abejorro carpintero de las Galápagos

Conservation status:



Average lifespan:

1 year

Average size:

2.5 centimetres (Female) / 1.8 centimetres (Male)


The Galapagos carpenter bee is an endemic species to the Archipelago. Its scientific name, Xylocopa darwini, derives from its nesting habit. Xylocopa means ‘wood-worker’ in Greek and illustrates what the female carpenter bee does – she bores holes in dead wood to deposit her eggs. A single egg is laid in the wooden nest and the larva is fed on nectar by the female bee until it pupates. This species of bee is a solitary species. 

The female carpenter bee is all black and has a very shiny abdomen. The male, which is relatively rare compared to the female, can be distinguished by a yellowish-brown colouring on a black abdomen.

Galapagos carpenter bees in Galapagos

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