Fork Tailed Flower Bee - Anthophora furcata

Alternative names
Fork-tailed Flower Bee

A medium-sized (10 to14 mm), hairy solitary bee. Unusually for Anthophora the mandible is tridentate, with both an inner and outer subapical tooth. It has a long tongue, almost as long as the body length when extended, and brown eyes. The male is dark, with chestnut-brown hair when fresh and a characteristic yellow face with little hair. Females are all brown, with a fringe of reddish hairs at the tip of the abdomen, and pollen collecting hairs on her hind legs.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Most solitary bees and wasps are difficult to identify, and can rarely be identified from photos taken in the field.  All red-rated records should include a photo or set of photos of the specimen, illustrating the key characters taken from a standard key, which should also be referenced (e.g. ‘Falk, 2015’).  The full set of key characters are generally not visible in field photos. To aid in the verification of your records, please include images of the side, top, wings and the face.  The notes should state whether male or female, and explain how the specimen met the key characters.  Although NS may not be able to identify the species, even if these reference photos are provided, the photos will be stored with the record and may allow it be identified in future.   Alternatively, NS will accept records identified by a recognised local or national expert, or that have been identified via the BWARS Facebook site (link at the top of the bee and wasp gallery. If you have obtained this advice, please note the name of the person/organisation identifying the record in the ‘determiner’ field (e.g. ‘Stuart Roberts, BWARS Facebook’) rather than just a comment of ‘BWARS Facebook’.


Reported from gardens, woodland, grasslands, moors, heaths and fenlands.

When to see it

Univoltine; late May to August or early September.

Life History

An unusual Anthophora species, which excavates its nest burrows in rotten wood, rather than in the soil.

UK Status

Widely distributed in England and Wales; it is the only Anthophora species recorded from Scotland.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Fork-tailed Flower Bee
Species group:
Bees, Wasps, Ants
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
21/07/2019 (Berriman, Matthew)
Last record:
02/07/2021 (Pochin, Christine)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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