Megachile (Amegachile)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Amegachile Friese, 1909
Common name: none

Overview

Megachile (Amegachile) have black integument, sometimes with some reddish coloration, and a combination of tan, red, white, or black hair on their body (Wu 2005; Michener 2007). They range in body length from 9–20 mm (Wu 2005; Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008)

  • Female abdomen lacks fringes under the scopa.
  • Female clypeus with apical margin has a shallow emargination that is slightly raised at its edges.
  • Female mandible is four-toothed with a fused third tooth and an acute fourth tooth.
  • Female mandible second interspace can appear to lack a cutting edge because the cutting edge is fused to the third tooth; this can cause the third tooth to appear truncate.
  • Female mandible third interspace has a large and complete cutting edge.
  • Male gonostylus apex is simple or bilobed.
  • Male mandible has three to four teeth with an inferior basal projection.
  • Male penis valves are not distinctively enlarged basally.
  • Male T6 preapical carina is large, crenulate, and medially emarginate.
  • Male T6 has small lateral teeth on the apical margin.

May be confused with

Some Megachile (Amegachile) can be mistaken for Callomegachile due to similar coloration (Michener 2007). However, female Callomegachile lack cutting edges between the teeth on their mandibles, which are present in Megachile (Amegachile) (Michener 2007). Unlike Megachile (Amegachile), Callomegachile males have lateral marginal hairs on S8, and their abdomen is at least twice as long as wide (Michener 2007).

Host associations

Megachile (Amegachile) is known to visit flowers from the following plant families: Acanthaceae, Asteraceae, Campanulaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Orchidaceae, Papilionaceae, Pedaliaceae, Proteaceae, Scrophulariaceae, and Solanaceae (Karunaratne et al. 2005; Gikungu 2006; Ikudome and Yamane 2007; Welsford and Johnson 2012; Sugiura 2014; Batley 2019).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Amegachile) are known to use pieces of cut leaves to construct their nests in pre-existing cavities (Maeta et al. 1997; Sugiura 2014). They have been observed nesting in the old nests of ground-nesting wasps and the abandoned burrows of Stimpson's skink (Plestiodon stimpsonii), a small lizard (Maeta et al. 1997; Maeta et al. 2006; Sugiura 2014).

Diversity

Megachile (Amegachile) consists of thirty species (Michener 2007); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Amegachile) occurs in Africa, Asia, and Australia. In Africa, they range throughout sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia to South Africa and Madagascar. They are found in East and Southeast Asia, where they range from India to Japan and south through Indonesia to Australia (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Megachile bicolor </em>female face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile bicolor female face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile bicolor </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile bicolor female lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile bicolor </em>female abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile bicolor female abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile bicolor </em>male face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile bicolor male face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile bicolor </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile bicolor male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile bicolor </em>male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile bicolor male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile bicolor</em> female face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile bicolor female face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile acraensis</em> female face, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile acraensis female face, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile nasalis</em> female mandible, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile nasalis female mandible, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile acraensis</em> female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile acraensis female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel