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Genus Megachile - Leafcutter, Resin, and Mortar Bees

Bee - Megachile xylocopoides - male Leaf-cutting Bee - Megachile perihirta - female Megachile sp - Megachile texana Large Bee - Megachile sculpturalis Sleepy Bee - Megachile frigida Megachile - Leaf-cutter and Resin Bees  - Megachile Megachile Megachile latimanus
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 (Leafcutter, Mason, and Resin Bees, and allies)
Subfamily Megachilinae
Tribe Megachilini
Genus Megachile (Leafcutter, Resin, and Mortar Bees)
Other Common Names
Leaf-cutter Bee
Explanation of Names
Megachile Latreille 1802 +'large jaws'
Numbers
~130 spp. in 16 subgenera in our area, 1520 spp. in 56 subgenera worldwide(1)
Size
Typically 7-9 mm, a few to 12 mm or larger(2)
Identification
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)

OVERVIEW OF SPECIES OF Megachile

           

     

Species sculpturalis - Giant Resin Bee
     

     
     


     
Species rotundata -Alfalfa leafcutter bee




     

     
Images needed

     
     
     
     

     


Species xylocopoides - Carpenter-mimic Leafcutter
     





     
     
     
     
     

     

     
     
     
Range
Cosmopolitan [map(1)]
Food
Polylectic, that is larvae feed on wide variety of pollens.
Life Cycle
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:
Remarks
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
Internet References