Wainia

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Anthidiini
Genus: Wainia Tkalců, 1980
Subgenera: Caposmia, Wainia, Wainiella
Common name: none

Overview

Wainia are black bees that often have apical bands of white hair on their terga. They can be small, slender, and elongate with a body length of 4.5 mm, or large and robust with an almost round abdomen and a body length of 10.5 mm (Michener 2007).

Diversity

Wainia contains 11 species in 3 subgenera (Michener 2007); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007)

May be confused with

Wainia looks most like Hoplitis and Heriades but can be differentiated by the combination of characters listed above (Michener 2007).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Host associations

Wainia have been observed visiting Indigofera sp. (Fabaceae) (Gess et al. 2008; Kuhlmann et al. 2011).

Nesting behavior

Wainia spp. in the subgenus Caposmia have been found nesting in the empty shells of snails (Kuhlmann et al. 2011). Inside each shell, they build one to several brood cells and provision them with pollen. These cells can either be constructed with flower petals or with sand grains that have been cemented together with resins likely collected from plants (Kuhlmann et al. 2011). The shells are then plugged using flower petals, followed by a thick layer of cemented sand (Gess et al. 2008).

Distribution

Most species are from southern Africa, but 2 of the 11 known species have been found in Israel and east to the Philippines (Michener 2007).

Distribution map generated by Discover Life - click on map for details, credits, and terms of use.

<p><em>Wainia eremoplana </em>male face, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Wainia eremoplana male face, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Wainia eremoplana </em>male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Wainia eremoplana male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner
<p><em>Wainia eremoplana </em>male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner</p>
Wainia eremoplana male lateral habitus, photo: C. Ritner