Osmia (Ozbekosmia)


Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Osmiini
Genus: Osmia Panzer, 1806
Subgenus: Ozbekosmia Zanden, 1994
Common name: none


Osmia (Ozbekosmia) are non-metallic bees with pale hairs. They range in body length from 7–13 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007)

  • Clypeus with anterior margin produced and rounded.
  • Hind coxa without strong longitudinal carina along inner ventral angle.
  • Mandibular base has long, overhanging curved hairs, and a impunctate hairless area behind the base.
  • Female hypostomal area is impunctate and roughened with long overhanging hairs.
  • Female mandible it tridentate and medially more narrow than the base.
  • Male genitalia are long and slender.
  • Male S2 and S3 with a straight apical margin.
  • Male S5 is emarginate with a fringe of hair in the emargination.
  • Male T6 has strong lateral teeth.
  • Male T7 is produced with a heavily sclerotized median apical projection.

May be confused with

Osmia (Ozbekosmia) may be confused with O. (Tergosmia) due to similar non-metallic and pale-haired bodies, tridentate and medially narrowed female mandibles, and straight apical margins of male S2 and S3 (Michener 2007). Osmia (Ozbekosmia) can be differentiated from O. (Tergosmia) by the produced clypeal margin of female Osmia (Ozbekosmia), the presence of a strong lateral tooth on male T6, and the heavily sclerotized apical projection of T7 (Michener 2007).

Host associations

Pollen collected from Osmia (Ozbekosmia) avosetta scopal hairs was used to identify host associations (Rozen et al. 2010). In Turkey, O. avosetta rely on Onobrychis viciifolia (Fabaceae), whereas in Iran they rely on Hedysarum elymaiticum (Fabaceae). These bees appear to be specialists on the plant tribe Hedysareae (Rozen et al. 2010).

Nesting behavior

Osmia (Ozbekosmia) nest cells are lined with two layers of colorful flower petals with a thin layer of mud in the middle (Rozen et al. 2010). The bees use either the whole petal or large pieces of the petals to line the cell walls. Nests are located in barren areas within soil that is loosely compact, fine, and easily crumbled (Rozen et al. 2010). Each nest contained one or two cells (Rozen et al. 2010).


Osmia (Ozbekosmia) is monotypic with one species: O. avosetta (Michener 2007).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.


Osmia (Ozbekosmia) avosetta occurs in Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey (Michener 2007; Rozen et al. 2010; Müller 2018).

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

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