Osmia (Neosmia)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Osmiini
Genus: Osmia Panzer, 1806
Subgenus: Neosmia Tkalců, 1974
Common name: none

Overview

Osmia (Neosmia) are robust, non-metallic bees with long, red, pale, black, or mixed hairs throughout their entire body. They range in body length from 7.5–15 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007)

  • Hind coxa carinate along the inner ventral angle, although sometimes only weakly.
  • Female mandible is narrower medially than at the base.
  • Female clypeus is rugose, truncate, and overhangs the labrum. In the middle of the truncated margin, there is a small-depressed area.
  • Male first flagellar segment is 3 times longer than it is broad.
  • Male mandible with three teeth.
  • Male S3 apical margin contains a hair-filled notch.
  • Male T6 is simple and without lateral teeth.
  • Male T7 is bilobed.

May be confused with

Osmia (Neosmia) may be confused with O. (Tergosmia) because of the short first flagellar segment, but they can be differentiated by the presence of a hair-filled median emargination on S3, which is absent in O. (Tergosmia).

Host associations

Osmia (Neosmia) are generalists on a multitude of families including Fabaceae, Resedaceae, Brassicaceae, Cistaceae, Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Lamiaceae, Zygophyllaceae, and Cichorioideae (Müller 2018b).

Nesting behavior

Osmia (Neosmia) construct their nests in empty snail shells. Osmia bicolor uses masticated leaf materials to line the cells of their nest. Additionally, O. bicolor creates a pile of pine needles and grass with a secretion to cover the snail shell (Westrich 1989). Nest plugs are constructed from pebbles and dirt (Müller 2018b). Osmia rufigastra constructs cell partitions out of masticated leaves. The nest plug is comprised of leaf pulp and densely packed particles, followed by a final wall of leaf pulp with fragments of shell. The surface of the snail shell is covered in leaf pulp, and the shell is transported and buried in a sandy location (Müller 2018b). Osmia cinnabarina builds cell partitions within the snail shell out of chewed leaves. The nest plug is comprised of leaf pulp and densely packed particles, followed by a final wall of leaf pulp with fragments of shell and small pebbles. The surface of the shell is covered with leaf pulp (Müller 2018b). Osmia scutispina does not bury the snail shell nest into the ground as seen in many other species (Müller 2018b).

Diversity

Osmia (Neosmia) consists of nine species (Michener 2007; Müller 2018b). None are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Osmia (Neosmia) is found in the Palearctic (Müller 2018b).


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

<p><em>Osmia gracilicornis </em>female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia gracilicornis female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia gracilicornis </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia gracilicornis female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Osmia gracilicornis</em> female abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Osmia gracilicornis female abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner