Meroglossa rubricataBubbling Meroglossa rubricata Colour Variation Communication Female and Male Flower Selection Nesting Threats

The Meroglossa rubricata are a native species that are endemic to south-west and midwest Western Australia, although they have been documented in the Northern Territory.

Female Meroglossa rubricata, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Female Meroglossa rubricata, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor

Whilst the Meroglossa rubricata are often called a solitary bee, this is far from reality. There is much evidence, especially from those who have “bee hotels”, that this species will nest in groups, with recorded evidence showing males sharing the same hole, females sharing the same hole, males and females sharing the same hole. There is even the possibility that the adult bees raise their young.

Meroglossa rubricata, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Meroglossa rubricata, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor

Meroglossa rubricata are found on a range of native flowers, especially in the family Mytaceae, among other flowering plants.

Meroglossa rubricata on Geraldton wax flower (Chamelaucium uncinatum), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Meroglossa rubricata on Geraldton wax flower (Chamelaucium uncinatum), Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Male Meroglossa rubricata, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor
Male Meroglossa rubricata, Midwest WA © Gary Taylor

They take easily to “bee hotel” with many enthusiasts in Western Australia, reporting them taking up residence in their home gardens. They appear to like an entrance nesting diameter of an absolute minimum of 4 mm, with reports showing that they sometimes take time building up the opening to the nest with secretions that is brushed on with the tongue of the female bee. Within the nest they still need room to move inside.

Meroglossa rubricata © Gary Taylor
Meroglossa rubricata © Gary Taylor

This section on the Meroglossa rubricata is a work in progress…


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Apoidea
  • Informal: Apiformes
  • Family: Colletidae
  • Subfamily: Hylaeinae
  • Genus: Meroglossa
  • Species: M rubricata
  • Binomial name: Meroglossa rubricata

Footnote & References

  1. Photographs and content contributor © Gary Taylor
  2. Blogs: an awesome “Commando roll” | Ruby… bubbling | Ruby and the wasp | Party at the nest | red is the weakest, the first to fade in low light, by Gary Taylor
  3. Meroglossa rubricata, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:afd.taxon:19b4a53c-35d3-47d4-85a8-180e66bd8d9c
  4. Native rubricata hylaeine, Meroglossa rubricata, Australian Pollinators, PaDIL, https://www.padil.gov.au/pollinators/pest/main/138993
  5. Bee Aware of Your Native Bees (Australia), Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/beeawareofyournativebees

Meroglossa rubricataBubbling Meroglossa rubricata Colour Variation Communication Female and Male Flower Selection Nesting Threats

MeroglossaMeroglossa impressifrons Meroglossa rubricata

BeesBees Anatomy Bee Behaviour Blogging Bees… Amegilla Bee Apis mellifera Austroplebeia australis Austrothurgus rubricatus Ceylalictus perditellus Colletidae Euryglossinae Exoneura Homalictus Hyleoides bivulnerata Lasioglossum Lipotriches Megachile Meroglossa Stenotritidae Thyreus Xylocopa