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Species detail

Megachile centuncularis (Leaf cutter bee)

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Taxonomy

Megachile centuncularis is in the family Megachilidae. The genus Megachile is known by the common name “leaf cutter bees” because many members cut out circular or oval pieces of leaves and use them to line their nests. There are some exeptions; some Megachile use tree resin and others use chewed vegetation and mud in addition to leaf pieces. M. centuncularis was a rare bee in Bee Atlas blocks. We found four nests, all in the southern part of the state.

Description

Megachile are primarily characterized by having large chewing mandibles and scopae (pollen-collecting hairs) on the underside of females' abdomens. M. centuncularis, like many Megachile, is a mostly dark bee with light hair bands across the abdomens of both females and males. Males have unmodified forelegs and look like extra fluffy females with extra long antenna and no scopa. M. centuncularis are medium sized Megachile, without a lot of distinguishing characteristics. They look most similar to M. relativa and M. lapponica but differ from both in that females have entirely pale scopal hairs. They range from 8-11 mm long.

Nest Structure

Like many Megachile, M. centuncularis use whole leaf pieces inside their nests. We have very few nests, but our limited information from Bee Atlas blocks shows plugs of whole leaf or petal pieces.

Hole Sizes

We had four nests in the Bee Atlas project, each in a different diameter tunnel; 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", and 7/16".

Voltinism

no data at this time

Activity Period

Our limited information suggests that M. centuncularis may nest in July or later in Minnesota.

References

No information at this time.

Minnesota Record Map

These data are from the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.

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