Furry Leaf-cutter Bee
( Megachile perihirta )


2013-0505-01100112-HYM01170-Megachile_perihirta[1142h05s,F,A,plant-leaf-forage]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Megachile perihirta
(Cockerell ,1898 )
Common Name:Furry Leaf-cutter Bee
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Hymenoptera
Suborder:Apocrita
Family:Megachilidae
Subfamily:Megachilinae
Tribe:Megachilini
Genus:Megachile
Taxon Code:HYM01170
ITIS/TSN:761971

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Gardens at Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, 666 Bellevue, Oakland
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01100110

RECOGNITION
Description
Setae: This native bee is black with long whitish-yellow hair, more so below the thorax and abdomen. The abdomen, however, is mostly bare, although each segment has scattered whitish hair. Wings: Clear with black veins. Legs: The pollen basket below the abdomen is bright red.
Body Length
Female: 13-14 mm. Male: 12-13 mm.
Similar Taxa
Practically undistinguishable from the females of Megachile latimanus Say.

BIOLOGY
Univoltine - one generation reaches maturity per year.
Food
Adults drink nectar and visit flowers from several families. Pollen is collected from a wide range of flowering plants, primarily from the family Compositae including Aster and Lotus spp. Larvae feed on both nectar and pollen.
Habitat
Gardens, meadows and orchards.
Nesting Preferences
Nests in ground concealed by dense vegetation in its habitat. Bees may cooperate to dig small burrows in sand, gravel, soil, or in rotting plants or wood. Inside the burrow the bees construct a series of cells lined with leaf fragments. Each cell is provisioned with about 15 loads of pollen and nectar, then one egg is laid. Cells are capped off with several circular leaf fragments. Nests are sometimes parasitized by Cuckoo Bees (Coelioxys spp.), the Blister Beetle Nemognatha lutea and by Red Velvet Ants (Dasymutilla spp.).
Range
Western North America, from Nebraska to Texas and Mexico, west to California, and north to British Columbia and Alberta.
Distribution
Primarily western.
Active Period
Adults are active from July to August.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
ITIS.
Megachile perihirta. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megachile_perihirta). Accessed March 3, 2017.
C. S. Sheffield 2011. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification No. 18 (November 2011)
Species Page - Megachile perihirta, Entomology Collection, University of Alberta. (http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=5848)


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