They are large (up to 3 cm), fast-flying bees, distinguished from the closely related genus Epicharis by the absence of long, whip-like setae that project backwards from just behind the eyes. They are commonly encountered bees in American deserts, and are active at very high ambient temperatures when many other species are in hiding. They can often be seen in large numbers on desert-willow (Chilopsis) and palo verde (Parkinsonia) blossoms. Bees of this genus are of some economical significance in pollinating crops such as Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa) and Cashew (Anacardium occidentale, pollinated by C. tarsata among others).
The retirement of the Centris name was announced in September 1993, with the 610, 650 and 660AV all being rebranded the following month as Macintosh Quadra machines as part of Apple's effort to reposition their product families to correlate with customer markets instead of price ranges and features. The IIvx was also discontinued in favor of the newly-announced Quadra 605.
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