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Life » » Animals » » Arthropods » » Hexapods » Insects » Winged insects » » Endopterygotes » Wasps, bees, and ants » » Bees

Leaf Cutter Bees, Mason Bees, And Relatives

Megachilidae

Brief Summary

    Megachilidae: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

     src= A leaf-cutter bee showing abdominal scopa  src= Leaves showing cuts by a leafcutter bee

    Megachilidae is a cosmopolitan family of mostly solitary bees whose pollen-carrying structure (called a scopa) is restricted to the ventral surface of the abdomen (rather than mostly or exclusively on the hind legs as in other bee families). Megachilid genera are most commonly known as mason bees and leafcutter bees, reflecting the materials from which they build their nest cells (soil or leaves, respectively); a few collect plant or animal hairs and fibers, and are called carder bees, while others use plant resins in nest construction and are correspondingly called resin bees. All species feed on nectar and pollen, but a few are kleptoparasites (informally called "cuckoo bees"), feeding on pollen collected by other megachilid bees. Parasitic species do not possess scopae. The motion of Megachilidae in the reproductive structures of flowers is energetic and swimming-like; this agitation releases large amounts of pollen.

Comprehensive Description