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Species Megachile sculpturalis - Sculptured Resin Bee

Bee on Viper's Bugloss - Megachile sculpturalis Giant Resin Bee - Megachile sculpturalis Giant Resin Bee on butterfly bush - Megachile sculpturalis Megachile sculpturalis - male Bee - Megachile sculpturalis carpenter bee? - Megachile sculpturalis Fly (not a Bee)? - Megachile sculpturalis Bee - Megachile sculpturalis
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees)
Family Megachilidae (Leaf-cutter Bees, Mason Bees, and allies)
Subfamily Megachilinae
Tribe Megachilini
Genus Megachile (Leaf-cutter and Resin Bees)
No Taxon (Subgenus Callomegachile, Giant Resin Bees)
Species sculpturalis (Sculptured Resin Bee)
Other Common Names
As there are larger related species the name "Giant Asian Resin Bee" is not optimal, especially when applied worldwide.
Size
14-24 mm
Identification
body cylindrical, 14-24 mm in length (longer than most bees in NA), females usually larger than males; head and abdomen black, thorax covered with dense yellowish-brown hairs, wings dark but transparent Mangum & Bambara
Range
native to e. Asia, recently introduced to NA. It was first reported in North Carolina in June, 1994. (Global map).
Eastern NA, more recently found also in California.
Season
Jun-Sep in NC
Food
The Hosts section on its Discover Life species page lists known floral associations based on specimen records and images.
Life Cycle
"The female bee nests alone and begins by preparing a cell in an existing tube or narrow cavity, using resin and sap collected from trees. Other materials such as bits of rotten wood and mud are also used in nest construction. Next she collects pollen and carries it to the nest on the underside of her hairy abdomen.
After completing several pollen collecting trips, she lays an egg on the pollen ball in the cell. Then she seals it, and prepares another cell. Continuing in this fashion, one female can complete about 10 cells. If the entrance of the nesting tube is directly exposed to the outside, the tube may be noticeably sealed with a resin, wood and sometimes mud cap. After the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the pollen and spend the winter within their cells. The larvae pupate in late spring and the adults emerge that summer. Mangum & Bambara
Remarks
They are opportunistic and nest in existing wooden cavities, rather than excavating their own. Effectively pollinate kudzu, another invasive species.
Internet References
Biodiversity Data Journal. New Distributional Records for the Mid- and Gulf-south USA. Katherine A. Parys, Amber D. Tripodi, Blair J. Sampson