Megachile leachella ♀︎

Last update: 18 June 2020
SPECIES: Megachile leachella
GENUS: Leafcutter bees (MEGACHILE)
FAMILY: MEGACHILLIDAE



OBSERVATION:
2020-VI-13

YEARS:
2020

MONTHS:
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec


Megachile leachella ♀︎, on Bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

1. DISTRIBUTION

M. leachella[1] is a rare species that can be found mainly at the coast and in the most souther part of the Netherlands [2].

2. BEHAVIOUR

2.1. ACTIVITY

The species is active from May to August [2,3].

2.2. DEVELOPMENT

The female nests in existing cavities, like hollow stems or old bore holes in wood, or she digs a nest herself in sand ground with little growth, like a vertical wall. She covers the nest walls with cut leaves and fills the nest up with sand [4].

2.3. POLLENSOURCES

M. leachella is polylectic and uses the following plants as pollen source [3,4]:

Legume
(Leguminosae)
– Bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
– Common restharrow (Ononis repens)
– Spiny restharrow (Ononis spinosa)
– Lucerne (Medicago sativa)
Resedaceae– Wild mignonette (Reseda lutea)

Except for Spiny restharrow all these plants can be found in the garden.

3. PARASITIC RELATIONS

Sharp tailed bees (COELIOXYS) are primary parasites of M. leachella [3,4], they are cleptoparasites.

The following parasites cited in literature can be found in the Netherlands:

Bees
(COELIOXYS)
C. afra [3,4]
C. elongata [3,4]
C. inermis [3,4]
C. mandibularis [3,4]
C. rufescens [4]
Wasps
(
CHALICIDOIDEA)
Monodontomerus obsoletus [4]
Melittobia acasta [4]

I’ve observed Shapr tailed bees twice in the garden, but the species are not clear. In one of the observations it was either a female C. elongata or C. inermis.

4. IDENTIFICATION

The females and males of  M. pilidens are difficult M. leachella. For an extensive description of the differences see [5].


Megachile leachella ♀︎, on Bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

1. White scopa [3]

Megachile leachella ♀︎, white scopa

2. Tergite 6 with two felt-like white hair spots [3]

Megachile leachella ♀︎, tergite 6 with white felt-like spots

3. Tergite 3 coarser puntated [4] – only difference with M. pilidens which has finer punctation [5]
4. Space between punctation more glossy and about as large as punctation [3].

Megachile leachella ♀︎, tergite 3 with coarser punctation

5. Clypeus very shallow cut out [3]

1. Front tarsus darkbrown to black [3]

2. Front tarsus at most basally a little yellow-white, less heartshaped [5]
– only difference with M. pilidens

3. Coxa frontleg with clear thorn [3]

4. Tergites with white hairbands [3]

5. Tergite 6 entirely or partly with white hairs [3]

6. Femur frontleg hindside yellow coloured until the end

7. Sternite 4 has a hair spot at the end

 


References

1 Nederlands Soortenregister

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *