A. cingulata has a very striking appearance. Unlike the honey bee, it has pale blue stripes on its abdomen instead of yellow. The male can be distinguished by the number of complete bands, having five as opposed to the females' four. In size, A. cingulata can grow to 10–12 millimetres (0.39–0.47 in). Its appearance includes a golden brown head with bulging eyes that have multiple lenses. They have six sticky legs and a long tongue to help extract nectar from flowers. Scientists believe that male bees have brighter blue stripes to attract female bees.
Although A. cingulata is native to Australia, it is also found in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, East Timor and Malaysia. It appears to live in tropical and subtropical regions. The bees inhabit urban areas, woodlands, forests and heath areas.