Pugnacious Leaf-Cutter Bee

Scientific Name: Megachile pugnata

Family: Megachilidae

Native Range: Eastern North America, Pennsylvania


Nest: Solitary, leaf cutter*

Nesting Location: Pre-made tunnels or holes (Wilson and Carril, p. 184 – 188)

Nest Materials: Pieces of leaves stuck together with saliva (Wilson and Carril, p. 184 – 188)

Active: Summer

Color and Appearance: Black with whitish hairs

Pollen Collection: Hairs under abdomen (Wilson and Carril, p. 184 – 188)

Flight Distance: *

Bees in the genus Megachile (meaning “big lipped”) snip pieces of leaves to line their nests, giving them a common name of “leaf cutter” bees. Construction of each nest cell can take anywhere from 1.5 – 3 hours for Megachile sp. bees. (Wilson and Carril, p. 184 – 188)

*From Heather Holm, Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants. Minetonka: Pollination Press, LLC, 2014., p. 267.

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