Megachile (Cestella)


Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Cestella Pasteels, 1962
Common name: none


Megachile (Cestella) are bees with black integument and both black and white hair (Pasteels 1965). They range in body length from 14–17 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008)

  • Female clypeus has a large, deep, triangular, shiny, hairless area in the middle.
  • Female mandible is five-toothed with a straight margin between the fourth and fifth teeth, which can give the appearance of the teeth being combined as a truncate fourth tooth.
  • Female mandible with dull sculpturing.
  • Male eyes are unusually large with the ocellocular distance less than the interocellar distance.
  • Male T6 without lateral spines.
  • Male T6 preapical carina is denticulate.

May be confused with

Megachile (Cestella) may be confused with Callomegachile because they both have similarly dull mandibles (Michener 2007). Megachile (Cestella) can be differentiated from Callomegachile by the five-toothed mandible and the shiny hairless area on the clypeus of the female. Males can be differentiated by the denticulate preapical carina of T6 (Michener 2007).

Host associations

Floral associations are unknown.

Nesting behavior

Nesting behavior is unknown.


Megachile (Cestella) consists of two species: M. cestifera and M. tsimbazazae (Michener 2007). None are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.


Megachile (Cestella) is only known to occur in Madagascar (Michener 2007).

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Specimens of this taxon not available for imaging.