Megachile (Eurymella)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Eurymella Pasteels, 1965
Common name: none

Overview

Megachile (Eurymella) are robust bees with a body length between 12–22mm long. They often have black or sometimes reddish-brown integument, with black, red, brown, yellow, or white hair (Schulten 1977; Michener 2007). Megachile (Eurymella), previously synonymized with Megachile (Eutricharaea), was reestablished as a subgenus by Trunz et al. (2016).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Gonzalez et al. 2010; Praz 2017)

  • Female tarsal claws usually with one elongate setae and one that is less then half the length of the first.
  • Female hind basitarsus is less tha three times longer than the width.
  • Female mandible with four teeth, the apical tooth being distinctly larger than subsequent teeth.
  • Female mandible third interspace with a long, complete cutting edge.
  • Female mandible without a tuft of orange hair at the base or the apical tooth.
  • Male front basitarsi may be expanded or not.
  • Male S4 depressed and at least somewhat hyaline apically.
  • Male T6 apical margin with sublateral teeth present.

May be confused with

Megachile (Eurymella) is likely to be confused with Megachile (Eutricharaea) as both have a robust mandible with an enlarged apical tooth (Praz 2017). Megachile (Eurymella) can be differentiated by their broader hind basitarsus when compared to Megachile (Eutricharaea) (Praz 2017).

Host associations

Megachile (Eurymella) have been observed visiting flowers of Apocynaceae, Acanthaceae, Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae, Poaceae, Papilionaceae, and Zygophyllaceae (Gikungu 2006; Gess and Roosenschoon 2017).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Eurymella) are ground-nesting bees which have been recorded nesting in sand and compacted earth, and have also been found in the banks of irrigation furrows (MacIvor and Moore 2013). Nest cells are constructed from cut leafs (Pasteels 1965).

Diversity

Megachile (Eurymella) contains nearly 60 species; none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada (Pasteels 1965; Trunz et al. 2016).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Eurymella) occur throughout Africa and in western Asia, where they are found from Cyprus through the Arabian Peninsula to Pakistan (Praz 2017; Varnava et al. 2019).

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

<p><em>Megachile kimilolana</em> female face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile kimilolana female face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile kimilolana</em> female lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile kimilolana female lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile kimilolana</em> female abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile kimilolana female abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile kimilolana</em> male face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile kimilolana male face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile kimilolana</em> male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile kimilolana male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile kimilolana</em> male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile kimilolana male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt