Megachile canifronsProtrusion on Clypeus

A species of bee in the family Megachilidae, the Megachile canifrons was first described by Smith3 in 1853, and appearing in the Catalogue of Hymenopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. The Megachile canifrons is currently documented as being mainly found in the Midwest Western Australia and the southern parts of the Australian mainland.

They have a large circular patch of bright orange hairs on the end of the abdoment (the section 5 and 6 of the metasomal segments). They also have incomplete white fringes on the first three sections of the metasomal segments, with the thorax showing noticeable long, white hairs. Both have white facial hairs.

Megachile canifrons © Gary Taylor
Megachile canifrons © Gary Taylor

Like other Megachile, they nest in vacated small hollows such as holes in wood and can be seen taking up residence in man-made bee hotels, like those made of clusters of hollow bamboo stems. They are often found nesting in aggregations.

The skill and precision of Megachile bees capping their nest is a sight to behold, as seen in the following images of the Megachile canifronsthe precision with which she spreads that first ball of gum tree resin around the inside of the tube…

Contributor and Images © Gary Taylor

  • 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: infrageneric Hackeriapis
  • Species: Megachile canifrons

Footnote & References

  1. Megachile canifrons, Content contribution and Images © Gary Taylor
  2. Bee Aware of Your Native Bees (Australia), Facebook group,
  3. Frederick Smith (1805–1879), British entomologist, whose publications included the Catalogue of Hymenopterous Insects (7 parts, 1853–1859) and parts 5 (1851) and 6 (1852) of the Nomenclature of Coleopterous Insects. In these volumes, he catalogued hundreds of bees.
  4. Megachile (Hackeriapis) canifrons Smith, 1853, Atlas of Living Australia,
  5. Megachile canifrons Smith, 1853, GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility,
  6. Megachile canifrons Smith, F. 1853. Catalogue of Hymenopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Part I. Andrenidae and Apidae. London : British Museum 197 pp. [171].
  7. Walker, K. (2009) Resin bee (Megachile (Hackeriapis) canifrons) Updated on 8/21/2012 8:15:20 AM Available online: PaDIL –

Megachile canifronsProtrusion on Clypeus

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