Austrochile

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Austrochile Michener, 1965
Common name: none

Overview

Austrochile are robust, parallel-sided bees with black integument and white and black hair on their head and thorax (Michener 1965). Their terga sometimes have white apical hair bands, but the pubescence of their abdomen is mostly black, aside from distinct reddish hair on T5-T6. They range in body length from 9–11 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 1965)

May be confused with

Austrochile may be confused with some of the larger Hackeriapis because they both have parallel-sided abdomens and red hair on the last two terga (Michener 1965). Austrochile can be differentiated by the large subapical spine on S1.

Host associations

Austrochile has been observed visiting flowers of the genera Jacksonia (Fabaceae) and Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) (Prendergast 2020).

Nesting behavior

Austrochile use resin to construct their nest cells (Houston and Pike 2013). Unlike most Megachile, which typically nest in cavities, some Austrochile build entirely exposed resin single-cell nests on twigs and stems (Houston and Pike 2013). Other Austrochile construct resin nests in pre-existing crevices in rocks or in sandy soil (Houston and Pike 2013).

Diversity

Austrochile consists of ten species (Michener 1965); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Austrochile are found throughout the non-tropical areas of Australia (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Austrochile resinifera </em>female face, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Austrochile resinifera female face, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Austrochile resinifera </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Austrochile resinifera female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Austrochile resinifera </em>female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Austrochile resinifera female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Austrochile resinifera </em>male face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Austrochile resinifera male face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Austrochile resinifera </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Austrochile resinifera male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Austrochile resinifera </em>male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Austrochile resinifera male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Austrochile resinifera</em> female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Austrochile resinifera female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Austrochile resinifera</em> male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Austrochile resinifera male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Austrochile resinifera</em> female T6 (truncate), photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Austrochile resinifera female T6 (truncate), photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Austrochile </em>sp. female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Austrochile sp. female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel