|Description:||Under the moderate magnification of 125x, this scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image revealed some of the morphologic features encountered at the distal tip of a male carpenter bee's, Xylocopa virginica, abdomen. Note the absence of a stinger, for male carpenter bees have no stinger, and therefore, cannot sting, while females do have a stinger, and though they can sting, they very rarely do sting.|
The body of Xylocopa virginica is covered by a coating of sensorial "hairs" known as "setae". The material from which these sensory structures are constructed is known as "chitin", and is the same material that created its tough exoskeletal exterior. These setae, as well as the antennae, are highly sensorial in nature, and transmit changes in the bee's environment such as fluctuations in temperature, chemistry, and wind speed and direction.