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Brief Summary

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The giant resin bee (Megachile sculpturalis) is so named because it is larger than most other leafcutter bees, ranging in size from 14 to 24 mm long, and because it uses its strong jaws to collect plant resin to seal the cells in which it lays eggs. This bee is native to Asia, but was inadvertently transported to the United States in the 1990's, where it was first identified in North Carolina in 1994. It is now present in most of the southeastern United States. This bee resembles bumble (Bombus spp.) and carpenter (Xylocopa spp.) bees, except that it lacks both the hairy abdomen that is present on bumble bees and the shiny abdomen that is present on carpenter bees.
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Life Cycle

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Giant resin bees are solitary, though often females will nest near each other. Females create their nests in existing tubes or narrow cavities and they are constructed from resin and sap collected from trees. Females provision each cell with a pollen ball and then lay a single egg in each cell. A female will lay up to 10 eggs. If the nest entrance is directly exposed to the outside, the female will seal it with a resin, wood, and sometimes mud cap. Eggs hatch in the winter. Larvae pupate in late spring and adult bees emerge in the summer.
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Habitat

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Giant resin bees are found around decks, porches, and other wooden structures. They are known to nest in vacant carpenter (Xylocopa spp.) and blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) tunnels.
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Pollinator

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The giant resin bee is known to pollinate several plants in the United States, including golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata), waxleaf privet (Ligustrum lucidum), sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), catalpa (Catalpa spp.), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), and vitex (Vitex spp.). In its native range, the giant resin bee is a known pollinator of crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia spp.) and is the primary pollinator of kudzu (Pueraria montana). Kudzu, a fast-growing perennial vine, is native to Asia. It was introduced to the United States in 1876 and is now common throughout most of the southeast. In the United States, kudzu is known as an invasive weed that kills or degrades native plants. As in Asia, the giant resin bee pollinates kudzu in the United States, aiding its spread throughout the country.
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Megachile sculpturalis

provided by wikipedia EN

Megachile sculpturalis, known as the giant resin bee and sculptured resin bee, is a species of leafcutting bees belonging to the family Megachilidae.

Distribution

Native to Japan and China, it has been introduced to the Eastern United States and Ontario, Canada in recent times,.[2] First established in the United States during the early 1990s, records currently exist from most states east of the Mississippi River.[3] It was also recently introduced to Europe in 2009.[4]

Description

Megachile sculpturalis can reach a body length of about 19–22 mm (0.75–0.87 in) in males, while females usually are larger than males, reaching about 21–25 mm (0.83–0.98 in).[5] It is much bigger than most other leafcutting bees. The body is cylindrical, jaws are large and wings are transparent, with a brown color that darkens toward the tips. Head and abdomen are mainly black, the abdomen is rather shiny and without hairs, while thorax is covered with dense yellowish-brown pubescence. In males the abdomen is truncated and squared, while in the females it is almost tapered, and pointed. The female has four dentate mandibles.[6][5][7]

Habitat

In the United States, these resin bees occur in nests of Xylocopa spp., often around wooden structures such as doors, decks and porches.[7]

Biology

Adults can be found from June to-September.[6] These solitary bees are known to make during the summer their nests in available holes found in wooden structures or in small crevices between wood boards and often they use cavities belonging to carpenter bees. They do not bore holes into wood. Their individual cells are constructed using wood particles and mud. They provide each cell with pollen carried on the underside of their hairy abdomen. Then they lay in each cell a single egg. Females also use their large jaws to collect resin (hence the common name), used to cap the brood cells. The larvae overwinter inside the cells, consuming the pollen. In spring they pupate and emerge as an adult in early summer.[7][6]

The main recorded host plants are Lathyrus latifolius and Sophora japonica (Fabaceae), Pycnanthemum species (Lamiaceae), Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae), Koelreuteria paniculata (Sapindaceae) and Buddleia species (Scrophulariaceae).[5]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ ITIS
  2. ^ Mark F. O'Brien & Julie Craves (2008). "Megachile scupturalis Smith – a new bee for Michigan (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)". Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society. 53 (1–2): 4.
  3. ^ Parys, K. A; Tripodi, A. T.; Sampson, B. J. (2015). "The Giant Resin Bee, Megachile sculpturalis Smith: New Distributional Records for the Mid- and Gulf-south USA". Biodiversity Data Journal. 3 (e6733). doi:10.3897/BDJ.3.e6733.
  4. ^ Vereecken, N.J., Barbier, E. 2009. Premières données sur la présence de l’abeille asiatique Megachile (Callomegachile) sculpturalis Smith (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae) en Europe. Osmia 3: 4-6
  5. ^ a b c Discover Life
  6. ^ a b c Bug Guide
  7. ^ a b c T.A. Dellinger, E. Day Giant Resin Bee Virginia Cooperative Extension - Publications and Educational Resources
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Megachile sculpturalis: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Megachile sculpturalis, known as the giant resin bee and sculptured resin bee, is a species of leafcutting bees belonging to the family Megachilidae.

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