Megachile (Creightonella)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Creightonella Cockerell, 1908
Common name: none

Overview

Megachile (Creightonella) are bees with black integument and black, golden-yellow, or white pubescence that sometimes form apical hair bands on the terga (Gupta 1989). They range in body length from 11–23 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007; Praz 2017)

  • Female hind basitarsus is slender and three times longer than the width.
  • Hind tarsal claws with only one long apical setae.
  • Female mandible is five- or six-toothed with incomplete cutting edges in mandibular interspaces two to four.
  • Male front coxa with a strong tooth and a rounded projection.
  • Male front tarsi not expanded or otherwise modified.
  • Male mandible with basal projection on the lower margin.
  • Male S6 is apically convex with a weakly sclerotized apical projection which covers the apical margin of T7.
  • Male T6 preapical carina is strongly denticulate, sometimes with a median emargination.
  • Male T7 is large and exposed; when a longitudinal carina is present, the apical margin is pointed or triangular. If the margin is rounded, they have a ventrally projected basal spine.

May be confused with

Megachile (Creightonella) is not likely to be confused with other subgenera due to several unique diagnostic characters. Females can be separated from other Megachile subgenera by the combination of their five- or six-toothed mandibles with cutting edges in interspaces two to four and a hind tarsal claw with only one elongate seta (Michener 2007). Males have a distinctly shaped T7 and the unique feature of often having both S5 and S6 exposed (Michener 2007).

Host associations

Megachile (Creightonella) are polylectic on flowers of Acanthaceae, Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Orchidaceae, Papilionaceae, and Rubiaceae (Özbek 1979; Özbek and Zanden 1994; Gikungu 2006; Ascher et al. 2016a).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Creightonella) nest in pre-existing cavities in soil and hollow plant stems, as well as in burrows they excavate in soil (Michener 2007). Brood cells are comprised of leaves, resin, and masticated foliage. Nest plugs are constructed out of masticated leaf pulp and pebbles (Michener and Szent-Ivany 1960; Willmer and Stone 1989).

Diversity

Megachile (Creightonella) consists of 57 species (Michener 2007; Eardley 2012).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Creightonella) occur throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. They are also found in parts of Asia, including India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and New Guinea (Michener 1962a; Comba and Comba 1991; Banaszak and Romasenko 1998; Ascher et al. 2016a; Praz 2017).

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

<p><em>Megachile discolor </em>female face, photo: Brooke Bagot</p>
Megachile discolor female face, photo: Brooke Bagot
<p><em>Megachile discolor </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Brooke Bagot</p>
Megachile discolor female lateral habitus, photo: Brooke Bagot
<p><em>Megachile discolor </em>female abdomen, photo: Brooke Bagot</p>
Megachile discolor female abdomen, photo: Brooke Bagot
<p><em>Megachile discolor </em>male face, photo: Brooke Bagot</p>
Megachile discolor male face, photo: Brooke Bagot
<p><em>Megachile discolor </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Brooke Bagot</p>
Megachile discolor male lateral habitus, photo: Brooke Bagot
<p><em>Megachile discolor </em>male abdomen, photo: Brooke Bagot</p>
Megachile discolor male abdomen, photo: Brooke Bagot
<p><em>Megachile rhodesica</em> male, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile rhodesica male, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile albisecta</em> male lateral view of sterna, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile albisecta male lateral view of sterna, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile </em>(<em>Creightonella</em>) sp. male sterna, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile (Creightonella) sp. male sterna, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile discolor</em> male sterna, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile discolor male sterna, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile fervida</em> male T6, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile fervida male T6, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile </em>(<em>Creightonella</em>) sp. male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile (Creightonella) sp. male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile </em>(<em>Creightonella</em>) sp. male apical terga photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile (Creightonella) sp. male apical terga photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile discolor</em> female mandibles, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile discolor female mandibles, photo: Joshua Hengel