Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Chalicodoma Lepeletier, 1841
Common name: none


Chalicodoma are robust, hairy bees that usually lack apical bands of hair on the terga. They range in body length from 11–20 mm (Michener 2007). Previously considered a subgenus of Megachile, the status of Chalicodoma was elevated to genus by Gonzalez et al. (2019).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007)

  • Mandible is slender with a strong, oblique apical margin that is about as long as the distance between the base and the upper tooth.
  • Female clypeus anterior margin is rounded, strongly crenulate, or denticulate.
  • Female ocelloccipital distance is shorter than the interocellar distance.
  • Male mandible is weakly 3–4 toothed.
  • Male T6 has a large preapical carina that can be four-toothed or denticulate, sometimes with a concave median area.

May be confused with

Chalicodoma may be confused with bees within the genus Chalicodomoides as both have similar slender mandibles (Michener 2007). Chalicodoma can be differentiated from Chalicodomoides by the clypeus, which is rounded, denticulate, and produced over the base of the labrum (Michener 2007).

Host associations

Chalicodoma have been observed visiting the flowers of several plant families, including Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Orchidaceae, Plantaginaceae, Rosaceae, Rutaceae, and Zygophyllaceae (Güler and Çağatay 2006; Luo and Liu 2006; Molnár et al. 2011; Pan et al. 2017; Vargas et al. 2017).

Nesting behavior

Chalicodoma build nests by mixing sand, clay, and pebbles with a substance secreted from their labial glands (Kronenberg and Hefetz 1984, Michener 2007, Luo and Liu 2011). This substance hardens over time and renders the nest hydrophobic, thus protecting it from rain (Kronenberg and Hefetz 1984). This allows the nests to last for several years and be re-used by future generations, which are inclined to use old nests over building new ones (Kronenberg and Hefetz 1984; Luo and Liu 2011). These nests can be found adhered to stones, buildings, and branches of trees and bushes (Michener 2007).


Chalicodoma contains about 60 species (Eardley 2012; Trunz et al. 2016; Gonzalez et al. 2019); none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada.

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.


Chalicodoma are widely distributed in Africa, Asia, and Europe (Michener 2007). Within Africa, they are found from the Mediterranean coast to the southern coast of South Africa, and from the Canary Islands off the western coast to Egypt in the east (Kronenberg and Hefetz, 1984; Michener 2007). Within Asia, they are distributed throughout Central Asia (Turkey to Pakistan) to China and can be found as far north as Mongolia (Michener 2007; Luo and Liu 2011). In Europe, Chalicodoma are predominantly Mediterranean, but can be as far north as France, Germany, and Poland (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Chalicodoma cephalotes </em>female face, photo: Brooke Bagot</p>
Chalicodoma cephalotes female face, photo: Brooke Bagot
<p><em>Chalicodoma cephalotes </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Chalicodoma cephalotes female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Chalicodoma cephalotes </em>female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Chalicodoma cephalotes female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Chalicodoma cephalotes </em>male face, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Chalicodoma cephalotes male face, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Chalicodoma cephalotes </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Chalicodoma cephalotes male lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Chalicodoma cephalotes </em>male abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Chalicodoma cephalotes male abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Chalicodoma</em><em> montenegrensis</em> male, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Chalicodoma montenegrensis male, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Chalicodoma parietina</em> female clypeus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Chalicodoma parietina female clypeus, photo: Colleen Meidt