Carpenter bees get their common name from their habit of boring into wood to make galleries for the rearing of young. These are worldwide in distribution with 7 species occurring in the United States.
Adult body length about 1/2"-1" (12.5-25 mm) robust in form resembling bumble bees but with top surface of abdomen largely bare and shining. Hind tibiae with apical spurs. Front wing 2ndsubmarginal cell triangular hind wing with a small jugal lobe (lobe on rear margin near body)
Females of the carpenter bee (X. viginica) will nest in a wide range of woods but prefer weathered and unpainted wood. Valley carpenter bees prefer partially decayed live oak deciduous oak eucalyptus and other hardwoods. The California carpenter bee nests in incense cedar and redwoods. The Mountain carpenter bee is recorded as nesting in structural timbers.