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). The palo verde pollen is the most common, and it gives the bee bread a strong orange color. 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.
Desert birds and lizards are predators of C. pallida, and these bees can be parasitized by the meloid beetle (Tegrodera erosa); however, rain is the largest threat to these bees. At night and during the heat of the day, C. pallida bees will hide under rocks, trees, in burrows, etc. When it rains, the bees can get wet. If the bee is in a burrow, it may simply drown. If the bee is underneath something, when night comes, the bee may freeze to death due to the low temperatures in the desert. Since these bees are solitary, they don’t have the protection of a hive or colony; thus, they are more susceptible to the elements.
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