Megachile (Pseudocentron)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Pseudocentron Mitchell, 1934
Common name: none

Overview

Megachile (Pseudocentron) have primarily black integument and often have gray, tan, white, reddish, or black hair (Durante et al. 2014). They range in body length from 8–16 mm (Michener 2007). Megachile (Pseudocentron) is the largest subgenus of Megachile in Central and South America (Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008; Torretta et al. 2012).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Mitchell 1937a; Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008; Gonzalez et al. 2019)

  • Female clypeus apical margin is straight.
  • Female hypostomal area is depressed, smooth, shiny, and enclosed laterally by a short transverse carina.
  • Female mandible with inner tooth acute or rounded.
  • Female mandible is four-toothed with a complete and long cutting edge in the third interspace, an incomplete cutting edge in the second interspace, and a rounded or acute inner tooth.
  • Female S6 apical margin is broadly truncate or rounded.
  • Female S6 posterior half is bare except for a row of short subapical hairs.
  • Male mandible with basal inferior process or projection.
  • Male hypostomal area deeply excavated.
  • Male front coxa with long spine.
  • Male front tibia distinctly expanded.
  • Male front tarsus is slender and usually black.
  • Male middle tibia has a spur-like apical prong or large, acute tooth.

May be confused with

Megachile (Pseudocentron) may be confused with bees in the subgenera Megachile (Acentron) and Megachile (Leptorachis) because the posterior half of S6 is bare except for a row of short, subapical hairs (Gonzalez 2008). Megachile (Pseudocentron) can be differentiated from the other two subgenera by the male’s mandible with basal inferior projection, large front spines on the coxa, and expanded front legs (Gonzalez 2008). Megachile (Pseudocentron) can also be differentiated from Megachile (Leptorachis) by the large, incomplete cutting edge in the second interspace of the female mandible (Michener 2007).

Megachile (Peudocentron) may also be confused with Megachile (Argyropile) because of the dorsally bent apical rim on S6. However, Megachile (Pseudocentron) usually has a thinner and more translucent apical rim (Gonzalez 2008).

Host associations

The following plant families have been identified as floral resources for Megachile (Pseudocentron) through flower-visiting observations and pollen analysis of nest provisions: Anacardiaceae, Apocynaceae, Arecaceae, Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Combretaceae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Goodeniaceae, Lamiaceae, Malvaceae, Onagraceae, Passifloraceae, Phyllanthaceae, Pontederiaceae, Rubiaceae, Solanaceae, Surianaceae, Tiliaceae, and Verbenaceae (Deyrup et al. 2002; Albuquerque et al. 2007; Landry et al. 2014; Marinho et al. 2018).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Pseudocentron) are cavity-nesters which have been recorded nesting in trap nests, under rocks, and under asphalt debris along roads (Torretta et al. 2012; Landry et al. 2014). These bees build nests using leaflets and cut leaf pieces, which they often cut into specific rectangular to oblong shapes (Marinho et al. 2018).

Diversity

Megachile (Pseudocentron) consists of approximately 66 species (Michener 2007; Ascher and Pickering 2011).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Pseudocentron) are native to North and South America. They occur from the southern U.S. (southern California to North Carolina) south through South America to Chile and Argentina.

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

<p><em>Megachile azteca </em>female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Megachile azteca female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Megachile azteca </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Megachile azteca female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Megachile azteca </em>female abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Megachile azteca female abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Megachile azteca </em>male face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile azteca male face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile azteca </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile azteca male lateral habitus, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile azteca </em>male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile azteca male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile priuna </em>female face, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile priuna female face, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile priuna </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile priuna female lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile priuna </em>female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile priuna female abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile priuna </em>male face, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile priuna male face, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile priuna </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile priuna male lateral habitus, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile priuna </em>male abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller</p>
Megachile priuna male abdomen, photo: Shaun Heller
<p><em>Megachile azteca </em>male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile azteca male apical terga, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile furcata</em> male T6, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile furcata male T6, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p>Megachile (<em>Pseudocentron</em>) sp. female face, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile (Pseudocentron) sp. female face, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile</em> <em>pollinosa</em> female mandibles, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile pollinosa female mandibles, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile inscita</em> female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile inscita female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile sidalceae</em> male middle tibia, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile sidalceae male middle tibia, photo: Joshua Hengel