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Genus Megachile - Leafcutter and Resin Bees

Bee - Megachile sculpturalis Genus Megachile- Leaf-Cutter and Resin Bees, ID Please - Megachile mendica Bee - Megachile sculpturalis Megachile species - Megachile Black and white bee - Megachile Tiny leafcutter resting on a blade of grass - Megachile Leafcutter Bee - Megachile Megachile? - Megachile - female
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 Megachilinae (Leafcutter, Resin, Mortar, Sharptail, Mason, and Woolcarder bees and relatives)
Tribe Megachilini (Leafcutter, Resin, Mortar, and Sharptail bees)
Genus Megachile (Leafcutter and Resin Bees)
Other Common Names
Leaf-cutter Bee, Mortar or Dauber Bee (for Old World taxa), Wall Bee
Explanation of Names
Megachile Latreille 1802 +'large jaws'
~130 spp. in 16 subgenera in our area, 1520 spp. in 56 subgenera worldwide(1)
Typically 7-9 mm, a few to 12 mm or larger(2)
Male rear ends
turn down quickly and end abruptly
T1 segments have 2 “sides”, one that faces forward or faces the thorax and one that faces the top.

In Megachile, the “corner” where the forward side and the top side meet is severe. It creates a flat or concave appearance like a circular shelf.

Lithurgopsis have a more gradual transition to the sides of T1(3)




Species sculpturalis - Giant Resin Bee


Species rotundata -Alfalfa leafcutter bee





Species xylocopoides - Carpenter-mimic Leafcutter



Cosmopolitan [map(1)]
Polylectic, that is larvae feed on wide variety of pollens.
Life Cycle
The cut leaves from these bees serve as protective plugs within the underground nests.(4)
Most nest in pre-existent holes in wood. Female typically cuts neat, more-or-less round pieces out of leaves to serve as separators between cells of nest:
The males of most species have enlarged light-colored front legs with a fringe of hairs and with odor glands. They use these features during mating. They partially cover the female's eyes with the hairy legs and the odor glands are placed close to the female's antennae. These adaptations resemble those of some carpenter bees and sphecid wasps. (Wittmann & Blochtein 1995)
See Also
Coelioxys--tapered abdomen, lacks pollen basket underneath
Print References
Mitchell, TB. 1980. A generic revision of the megachiline bees of the Western Hemisphere (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Contributions of the Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA 95 pp.
Internet References