Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Ptilosarus Mitchell, 1943
Common name: none
Megachile (Ptilosarus) may be confused with bees within the subgenera Megachile (Ptilosaroides) as both have similar short, dense pubescence on the apical terga and darkened forewing costal margins (Michener 2007). Both sexes of Megachile (Ptilosarus) can be differentiated from Megachile (Ptilosaroides) by the presence of strong preoccipital carina that is present both dorsally and laterally. Additionally, Megachile (Ptilosarus) females can be differentiated by the plumose hairs on the ventral side of the thorax and leg bases, and males can be differentiated by the lack of a spine on the front coxa (Michener 2007).
Megachile (Ptilosarus) have been observed visiting Asteraceae, Malvaceae, and Piperaceae (Raw 2007). Megachile (Ptilosarus) exhibit a unique behavior of crawling up and down the spike-like inflorescence of pepper vines (Piper sp.). As they crawl, they move their abdomen from side to side, most likely to enhance the amount of pollen collected (Michener 2007). These bees have plumose hairs on the underside of their thorax and at the base of their legs that may be a specialization for collecting pollen from these plants (Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008).
Megachile (Ptilosarus) nests in pre-existing cavities using leaf fragments to form the nest cells (Vélez et al. 2020). Megachile (Ptilosarus) have been observed nesting in decaying wood, in empty cavities within active termite nests, and in abandoned solitary bee (Ptilothrix plumata and Diadasina distincta) nests (Martins and Almeida 1994; Almeida et al. 1997; Vélez et al. 2020).
There are no known invasives.
Megachile (Ptilosarus) are found predominantly in tropical areas of North and South America, where they range from Veracruz, Mexico to Misiones, Argentina (Michener 2007).