Megachile (Austromegachile)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Austromegachile Mitchell, 1943
Common name: none

Overview

Megachile (Austromegachile) are small to medium-sized bees with black to brown integument on most of their body and sometimes red integument on their legs (Michener 2007). They range in body length from 7.5–16 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007; Gonzalez et al. 2018)

May be confused with

Megachile (Austromegachile) may be confused with Megachile (Rhyssomegachile) since they both have a similar four-toothed mandible and a strong preoccipital carina laterally. Female Megachile (Austromegachile) can be differentiated by the larger, cutting edges in the second and third interspaces on the mandible. Males can be differentiated by the low, inconspicuous preapical carina on T6 (Gonzalez et al. 2018).

Host associations

Megachile (Austromegachile) has been observed visiting multiple species within Arecaceae, Anacardiaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Myrtaceae, Onagraceae, Passifloraceae, and Rubiaceae (Steiner et al. 2010; Marinho et al. 2018).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Austromegachile) nests in pre-existing cavities (Gonzalez 2008). Some species have small perforations in the nest cells (Laroca et al. 1987; Morato 2003).

Diversity

Megachile (Austromegachile) consists of twenty-nine species (Ascher and Pickering 2020).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Austromegachile) ranges from Argentina in South America north as far as Hidalgo and Sinaloa in Mexico (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Megachile contructrix </em>female face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile contructrix female face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile contructrix </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile contructrix female lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile contructrix </em>female abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile contructrix female abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile contructrix </em>male face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile contructrix male face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile contructrix </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile contructrix male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile contructrix </em>male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile contructrix male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile tepaneca</em> male mandible, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile tepaneca male mandible, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile constructrix</em> female mandibles, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile constructrix female mandibles, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile (Austromegachile) </em>sp. female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile (Austromegachile) sp. female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel