Osmia maxillaris


Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Osmiini
Genus: Osmia Panzer, 1806
Subgenus: O. (Osmia) Panzer, 1806
Species: Osmia maxillaris Morawitz, 1875
Common name: none


Osmia maxillaris are black bees with blue-green metallic luster. O. maxillaris have golden brown hair that covers the vertex and thorax, and the remaining hair on the legs and face is whitish. T1T5 have whitish to yellow apical hair bands (Müller 2012). Hair can bleach out with time, and older bees can have gray hair (Peters 1978). Female body length is 11–13 mm, and male body length is 12–14 mm (Morawitz 1876).

Diagnostic characteristics 

(modified from Peters 1978; Müller 2012)

May be confused with 

Osmia maxillaris looks similar enough to O. scheherazade that O. scheherazade was considered a subspecies of O. maxillaris until it was raised to species status by Müller (2012). The easiest way to distinguish these species is by the shape of T7, which is more angulate and medially emarginate in O. scheherazade and entire and evenly convex in O. maxillaris.


Osmia maxillaris adults have been recorded in flight from the middle of May to the middle of June (Peters 1978).

Host associations 

Osmia maxillaris are oligolectic on Fabaceae and have preference for flowers with deep corolla tubes such as Astragalus (Müller 2012).

Nesting behavior 



Osmia maxillaris specimens have been recorded in Central Asia. O. maxillaris are distributed in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan (Müller 2012).

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

<p><em>Osmia maxillaris</em> male face, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia maxillaris male face, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia maxillaris</em> male lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia maxillaris male lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia maxillaris </em>male abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia maxillaris male abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner