MegachileMegachile aurifrons Megachile erythropyga Megachile (Eutricharaea) Megachile (Hackeriapis) canifrons Megachile (Hackeriapis) rhodura Megachile punctata Megachile (Rhodomegachile) deanii Megachile semiluctuosa Megachile (Thaumatosoma) Megachile ustulata

A cosmopolitan group of so called solitary bees, the genus Megachile is one of the largest genera of bees, containing (at time of writing) 56 subgenera, encompassing 1,520 recognised species.

The genus Megachile encompass groups of bees that are known as Leafcutter Bees or Leaf Cutting Bees; Resin Bees; and Mortar Bees. Whilst other genera within the family Megachilidae may chew leaves or petals into fragments to build their nests, certain species within Megachile neatly cut pieces of leaves or petals to line their nests. Others like the Megachile aurifrons are known to nests in a variety of places, from disused mud nests, man-made bee hotels, and even irrigation hose that may be lying around unused. Whilst this genus of bees are considered solitary bees, Megachile aurifrons have been witnessed nesting in the same mud nest, although in different cell nest holes.

Pictured here are the following species of native bees:

  • Megachile (Eutricharaea) macularis
  • Megachile aurifrons
  • Megachile erythropyga
  • Megachile semiluctuosa
  • Megachile (Rhodomegachile) deanii
  • Megachile (Thaumatosoma) duboulaii
  • Megachile canifrons
Megachile (Eutricharaea) macularis © Gary Taylor
Megachile (Eutricharaea) macularis © Gary Taylor
Megachile aurifrons © Gary Taylor
Megachile aurifrons © Gary Taylor
Megachile erythropyga © Gary Taylor
Megachile erythropyga © Gary Taylor
Megachile sp © Gary Taylor
Megachile semiluctuosa, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Megachile (Rhodomegachile) deanii, Southern Downs QLD © Marc Newman
Megachile (Rhodomegachile) deanii, Southern Downs QLD © Marc Newman
Nesting behaviour of the Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons), Alice Springs, NT
Resin capped nests of the Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons), Alice Springs, NT
Megachile (Thaumatosoma) duboulaii, Geraldton WA © Gary Taylor
Megachile (Thaumatosoma) duboulaii, Geraldton WA © Gary Taylor
Megachile ustulata © Marc Newman
Megachile ustulata © Marc Newman
Megachile canifrons © Gary Taylor
Megachile canifrons © Gary Taylor
Megachile (Thaumatosoma) remeata, Murchison WA © Marc Newman
Megachile (Thaumatosoma) remeata, Murchison WA © Marc Newman

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Apoidea
  • Informal: Apiformes
  • Family: Megachilidae
  • Subfamily: Megachilinae
  • Tribe: Megachilini
  • Genus: Megachile
  • Subgenus:
    • Megachile (Amegachile)
    • Megachile (Austrochile)
    • Megachile (Callomegachile)
    • Megachile (Chalicodomoides)
    • Megachile (Chelostomoda)
    • Megachile (Creightonella)
    • Megachile (Eutricharaea)
    • Megachile (Hackeriapis)
    • Megachile (Mitchellapis)
    • Megachile (Rhodomegachile)
    • Megachile (Schizomegachile)
    • Megachile (Thaumatosoma)
    • Megachile
  • Subgenus:
  • Species:
    • Megachile adelaidae
    • Megachile alani
    • Megachile alleynae
    • Megachile apicata
    • Megachile apposita
    • Megachile atrella
    • Megachile aurifrons
    • Megachile axillaris
    • Megachile barvonensis
    • Megachile beutenmulleri
    • Megachile callura
    • Megachile castaneipes
    • Megachile cliffordi
    • Megachile clypeata
    • Megachile derelicta
    • Megachile dinognatha
    • Megachile erythropyga
    • Megachile eucalypti
    • Megachile ferox
    • Megachile fultoni
    • Megachile fumipennis
    • Megachile gilbertiella
    • Megachile hackeri
    • Megachile hardyi
    • Megachile heliophila
    • Megachile henrici
    • Megachile heriadiformis
    • Megachile horatii
    • Megachile ignita
    • Megachile latericauda
    • Megachile leeuwinensis
    • Megachile leucopyga
    • Megachile longiceps
    • Megachile lucidiventris
    • Megachile mackayensis
    • Megachile macleayi
    • Megachile micrerythrura
    • Megachile modesta
    • Megachile mundifica
    • Megachile nigrovittata
    • Megachile oculiformis
    • Megachile ordinaria
    • Megachile paracallida
    • Megachile pararhodura
    • Megachile paratasmanica
    • Megachile phillipensis
    • Megachile preissi
    • Megachile punctata
    • Megachile ramulipes
    • Megachile relicta
    • Megachile revicta
    • Megachile rufolobata
    • Megachile rugosa
    • Megachile semiluctuosa
    • Megachile sericeicauda
    • Megachile silvestris
    • Megachile simpliciformis
    • Megachile speluncarum
    • Megachile subremotula
    • Megachile subserricauda
    • Megachile suffusipennis
    • Megachile swarbrecki
    • Megachile tasmanica
    • Megachile turneri
    • Megachile ustulata




Megachile erythropyga, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Megachile erythropyga, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor

Footnote & References

  1. Megachile, Images and content contribution by Gary Taylor, Western Australia
  2. Megachile, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megachile (last visited May 13, 2022)
  3. Native Bee Resins, Australian Native Bee, https://www.australiannativebee.com/2015/11/09/native-bee-resins/
  4. Megachilidae – General Information | Using the Identification Guide, Bee-ID-SM, Javascript-based identification tool, https://michaelbatley.github.io/Bee-ID-SM/help.htm

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MegachileMegachile aurifrons Megachile erythropyga Megachile (Eutricharaea) Megachile (Hackeriapis) canifrons Megachile (Hackeriapis) rhodura Megachile punctata Megachile (Rhodomegachile) deanii Megachile semiluctuosa Megachile (Thaumatosoma) Megachile ustulata