Enclosed a foto from a mating couple of Xylocopa violacea I took last Saturday in my garden in Amstetten Lower Austria. I could observe the whole process:
A male was searching in holes (12mm) in a tree disc I have installed in my garden. In one hole there was a female. The male entered the hole and pulled the female with his mandibles out of the hole. This was quite noisy.
Once both were out of the hole they coupled immediately. I could only took one picture without flash then both flew together away which was quite impressive!
-> Is this the standard behaviour of X.?
-> Isn't it too early for X.? In Amstetten not even Bombus have emerged and Salix is still not in flowers?
I hope the female comes back to nest in my trees. I have added some old truncs with further 12mm holes..
Thanks for any further input to the behaviour of Xylocopa.