Megachile (Xanthosarus)

Taxonomy

Family: Megachilidae
Subfamily: Megachilinae
Tribe: Megachilini
Genus: Megachile Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Xanthosarus Titus, 1906
Common name: none

Overview

Megachile (Xanthosarus) are robust bees with black integument and varying hair color that can be gray, orange-red, yellow, white, or entirely black (Michener 2007; Gonzalez 2008; Praz 2017). Megachile (Xanthosarus) range in body length from 8–18 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Mitchell 1936; Mitchell 1943; Mitchell 1980; Gonzalez 2008; Praz 2017)

May be confused with

Megachile (Xanthosarus) may be confused with the subgenus Megachile (Phaenosarus) due to the similar structure of the mandible (Michener 2007). Megachile (Xanthosarus) can be differentiated from Megachile (Phaenosarus) by the pubescence on T6 and length of S6. Megachile (Xanthosarus) have erect pubescence to the tip of T6, while Megachile (Phaenosarus) have appressed pubescence on the apical half of T6 (Mitchell 1936). Megachile (Xanthosarus) S6 does not protrude beyond the apex of the tergum, which is short, broad, and apically rounded (Mitchell 1936). In contrast, Megachile (Phaenosarus) S6 extends beyond the apex of the tergum, which is long with a narrowly rounded tip (Mitchell 1936).

Host associations

Megachile (Xanthosarus) have been observed visiting flowers within the families Asteraceae, Apocynaceae, Campanulaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Cleomaceae, Convolvulaceae, Ericaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Loasaceae, Onagraceae, Plantaginaceae, Polygonaceae, and Verbenaceae (Mitchell 1936; Güler and Çağatay 2006).

Nesting behavior

Megachile (Xanthosarus) nest in pre-existing cavities in wood, sandy soil, and abandoned nests of Anthophora bees (Gonzalez 2008). Females have also been observed digging burrows underground and in decaying wood (Westrich 1989). They use small circular leaves to construct the base of their brood cells (Williams et al. 1986; Krombein and Norden 1995).

Diversity

Megachile (Xanthosarus) includes 41 species, 15 of which occur in North America (Raw 2007; Nagase 2011).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Megachile (Xanthosarus) are broadly distributed across the northern hemisphere. They are found in North America, Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. In North America, they can be found from Canada to Mexico (Mitchell 1936; Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Megachile augustini </em>female face, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile augustini female face, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile perihirta </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile perihirta female lateral habitus, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile subfortis </em>female abdomen, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile subfortis female abdomen, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile perihirta </em>male face, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile perihirta male face, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile perihirta </em>male face, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile perihirta male face, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile perihirta </em>male abdomen, photo: Jeni Sidwell</p>
Megachile perihirta male abdomen, photo: Jeni Sidwell
<p><em>Megachile perihirta</em> male mandible, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile perihirta male mandible, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile perihirta</em> front leg, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile perihirta front leg, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile melanophaea</em> male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile melanophaea male abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile gemula</em> male apical terga), photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile gemula male apical terga), photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile melanophaea</em> female face, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile melanophaea female face, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile cochisiana</em> female mandible, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile cochisiana female mandible, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile perihirta</em> female mandible, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile perihirta female mandible, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile perihirta</em> female wing, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile perihirta female wing, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile melanophaea</em> female abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Megachile melanophaea female abdomen, photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Megachile perihirta</em> female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile perihirta female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Megachile cochisiana</em> female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Megachile cochisiana female abdomen, photo: Joshua Hengel