Megachile (Moureapis)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Moureapis Raw, 2002
Common name: none

Overview

Megachile (Moureapis) have black or reddish integument with black, yellow, red, or white hair, which sometimes form apical hair bands on the terga (Mitchell 1930; Michener 2007). They range in body length from 7–12 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Raw 2004b; Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008)

  • Preoccipital ridge is rounded.
  • Female mandible four-toothed, with cutting edges in both the second and third interspaces and the innermost tooth is truncate.
  • Female S6 is mostly bare except for a row of short hairs apically.
  • Female scopal hair primarily white.
  • Male front basitarsi are simple and unmodified.
  • Male mandible with basal inferior projection.
  • Male middle legs lack tibial spurs, but are otherwise unmodified and simple.
  • Male T6 with a strong, medially emarginate preapical carina.
  • Male T7 rounded, straight, or slightly concave.

May be confused with

Male Megachile (Moureapis) may be confused with bees within the subgenera Megachile (Acentron) because both lack a middle tibial spur (Michener 2007). In contrast to Megachile (Acentron) , Megachile (Moureapis) have simple front and middle legs (Michener 2007). Female Megachile (Moureapis) have a similar mandible to Megachile (Pseudocentron) but can be differentiated by the innermost tooth, which is truncate in M. (Moureapis).

Host associations

Through pollen analysis and observation, Arecaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Gentianaceae, Lamiaceae, Rubiaceae, Onagraceae, and Fabaceae have been identified as floral resources for Megachile (Moureapis) (Buschini et al. 2009; Dubet da Silva Mouga et al. 2012; Marinho et al. 2018). Some Megachile (Moureapis) species may be oligolectic, with one study finding that 99.6% of the pollen in nest provisions of a Megachile (Moureapis) sp. came from two species of water-primrose (Ludwigia peruviana and Ludwigia sericea), in the family Onagraceae (Buschini et al. 2009).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Moureapis) seem to prefer nesting in wide cavities, but have also been observed nesting in trap nests (Cardoso and Silveira 2012). They build their nests using leaves without using any adhesive substance to hold them together (Marinho et al. 2018). Their nests are built in two layers: a looser, outer layer made up of entire leaves and leaf pieces and a more compactly constructed inner layer of leaf pieces (Cardoso and Silveira 2012; Marinho et al. 2018).

Diversity

Megachile (Moureapis) consists of 27 species; none are known to occur in the U.S. or Canada (Raw 2007; Cardoso and Silveira 2012).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Moureapis) range from southern North America (Mexico) through South America (Michener 2007). They have been found as far north as the state of Sonora, Mexico, and as far south as the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina (Michener 2007; UNIBIO and IB-UNAM 2020).

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

<p><em>Megachile (Moureapis)</em> sp. female face, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile (Moureapis) sp. female face, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile (Moureapis)</em> sp. female lateral habitus, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile (Moureapis) sp. female lateral habitus, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile (Moureapis)</em> sp. female abdomen, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile (Moureapis) sp. female abdomen, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile viator </em>male face, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile viator male face, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile viator </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile viator male lateral habitus, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile viator </em>male abdomen, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile viator male abdomen, photo: Jeni Sidwell