Megachile (Chelostomoda)

Taxonomy

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

Overview

Megachile (Chelostomoda) are black bees with white apical bands on the terga, and yellow or white scopa (Wu 2005; Niu et al. 2012). They range in body length from 6.5–10 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008)

  • T2 and T3 with strong postgradular grooves which are not hairy.
  • Female mandible has five teeth, and the second interspace has a large, incomplete cutting edge.
  • Female pronotal lobe has a strong transverse carina.
  • Female S2S4 have lateral apical bands of white hairs on the underside.
  • Female S6 is uniformly punctate and hairy.
  • Female T6 with short hairs and a rounded apex.
  • Male S4 is almost entirely retracted, and is less sclerotized, punctate, and hairy than S2 and S3.

May be confused with

Megachile (Chelostomoda) may be confused with bees within the genus Hackeriapis due to a similar appearance, small body length, and T2T3 with strong postgradular grooves (Michener 2007). Female Megachile (Chelostomoda) can be differentiated from Hackeriapis by the presence of apical hairs from S2S4 and by the large, incomplete cutting edge in the second interspace of the mandible (Michener 2007).

Host associations

Megachile (Chelostomoda) has been observed visiting Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Malvaceae, Oxalidaceae, Rubiaceae, Scrophulariaceae, and Zingiberaceae (Karunaratne et al. 2005; Niu et al. 2012).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Chelostomoda) nests in pre-existing cavities. Nest plugs are constructed using irregular pieces of leaves and leaf pulp (Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008).

Diversity

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

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Chelostomoda) are native to Asia and Australia. They range from India to as far west as Japan and the Solomon Islands, and as far south as northern Australia (Michener 2007). One specimen of M. spissula was collected in Hamburg, Germany. This specimen was likely transported from Asia within a nest and is not established in Germany (Praz 2017).

Distribution
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<p><em>Megachile spissula </em>female face, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile spissula female face, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile spissula </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile spissula female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile spissula </em>female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile spissula female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile spissula </em>male face, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile spissula male face, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile spissula </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile spissula male lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile spissula </em>male abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile spissula male abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller