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Genus Megachile - Leafcutter, Resin, and Mortar Bees

Fly mimicking a bumble bee? - Megachile centuncularis - female Leafcutter bee - Megachile latimanus - female Bee - Megachile rotundata Leaf-cutter bee - Megachile perihirta Bee (unknown) - Megachile - female Bee - Megachile relativa Bee - Megachile perihirta - female Male megachilid bee  - Megachile angelarum - male
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'
~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


Images needed



Species xylocopoides - Carpenter-mimic Leafcutter



Cosmopolitan [map(1)]
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:
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