Megachile (Megachiloides)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Megachiloides Mitchell, 1924
Common name: none

Overview

Megachile (Megachiloides) are medium-sized, megachiliform bees with black integument and often with pale apical hair bands on the terga. They range in body length from 9–17 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Mitchell 1933; Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008)

  • Preoccipital carina absent.
  • Female clypeus with a straight or slightly crenulate apical margin.
  • Female mandible three- or four-toothed with a long, complete cutting edge in the innermost interspace (second or third interspace depending on the number of teeth).
  • Female mandible with inner-most tooth acute.
  • Female sterna without apical hair bands.
  • Female S6 with hair well dispersed throughout the segment.
  • Female T6 straight in profile.
  • Male front coxa with a spine.
  • Male front tarsi usually distinctly expanded.
  • Male mandible three- or four-toothed with a basal projection on the lower margin.
  • Male S4 without a median apical tubercle.
  • Male T6 preapical carina is entire, without a median emargination, and can be crenulate or denticulate.
  • Male T7 usually acutely pointed.

Host associations

Megachile (Megachiloides) have been observed visiting flowers from multiple plant families including: Asteraceae, Cactaceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Fabaceae, Gentianaceae, Malvaceae, Onagraceae, Verbenaceae, and Zygophyllaceae (Mitchell 1936). Some species are thought to be oligolectic on flowers within some of these plant families (Michener 2007).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Megachiloides) nest in pre-existing cavities. Nest cells are comprised of small, circular pieces of cut leaves (Williams et al. 1986; Krombein and Norden 1995).

Diversity

Megachile (Megachiloides) is one the most diverse subgenera of Megachile in North America with approximately 60 described species (Michener 2007; Sheffield 2013).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Megachiloides) ranges from southern Canada to northern Mexico where they primarily occur in xeric areas (Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008).

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

<p><em>Megachile sublaurita </em>female face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile sublaurita female face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile sublaurita </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile sublaurita female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile sublaurita </em>female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile sublaurita female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile sublaurita </em>male face, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile sublaurita male face, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile sublaurita </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile sublaurita male lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile sublaurita </em>male abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile sublaurita male abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile alata</em> male coxa, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile alata male coxa, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile nevadensis</em> male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile nevadensis male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile manifesta</em> male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile manifesta male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile manifesta</em> male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile manifesta male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile umatillensis</em> male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile umatillensis male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile umatillensis</em> male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile umatillensis male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile sublaurita</em> female face, photo: Colleen Meidt
</p>
Megachile sublaurita female face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile subanograe</em> female mandibles, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile subanograe female mandibles, photo: Joshua Hengel