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Species Lithurgus chrysurus - Mediterranean Wood-boring Bee

Lithurgus chrysurus - female Lithurgus chrysurus - male Lithurgus chrysurus - female Lithurgus chrysurus - male Lithurgus chrysurus - male Lithurgus chrysurus - male Megachilidae? - Lithurgus chrysurus Megachilidae? - Lithurgus chrysurus
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 (Apoidea (clade Anthophila) - Bees)
Family Megachilidae (Leafcutter, Mason, and Resin Bees, and allies)
Subfamily Lithurginae (Woodborer Bees)
Genus Lithurgus
No Taxon (Subgenus Lithurgus)
Species chrysurus (Mediterranean Wood-boring Bee)
Explanation of Names
Author: Fonscolombe 1834
Distinctive red color of the female. Tridentate mandible with the middle tooth being longest.
native to the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (NJ-PA) (map)(1)
Feed mostly on Centaurea pollen (a non-native plant, introduced from Europe, like the bee itself). Adults drink nectar of a variety of sources. The Hosts section on its Discover Life species page lists known floral associations based on specimen records and images.
Life Cycle
Univoltine (one generation per year) and over-winter as prepupae inside cocoons. Detailed description of larval development and nesting biology here.
Non-native. First discovered in this country in Phillipsburg, Warren County, NJ in 1978.
The second time this species was recorded in the United States was on July 7, 2007 at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center in Lehigh Gap, Lehigh County, PA. This discovery led to a regional search for this destructive species.
This wood-boring bee is capable of chewing through vinyl siding. It is a solitary bee, but they tend to construct nests near each other and thus cause extensive damage.
Print References
R.B. Roberts (1978) The nesting biology, behavior and immature stages of Lithurge chrysurus, an adventitious wood-boring bee in New Jersey (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). J. Kans. Ent. Soc. 51(4): 735-745 (Abstract)
R.W. Rust, G. Cambon, J.-P. Torre Grossa, B.E. Vaissière (2004) Nesting biology and foraging ecology of the wood-boring bee Lithurgus chrysurus (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). J. Kans. Ent. Soc. 77(3): 269-279 (Abstract)
Rozen, Jerome George (2013) Larval development and nesting biology of the adventive wood-nesting bee Lithurgus (L.) chrysurus Fonscolombe (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae, Lithurgini). American Museum novitates, 0003-0082 ; no. 3774 (Abstract)
Internet References
J. Kansas Entomol.Soc. Nesting Biology and Ecology