Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Leaf-cutter Bees, etc.

Adults small to large; 6–18 mm long; very hairy; with branched or feathery hairs on the body. Solitary insects.

Head. Antennal segments (10–)12 (females), or (10–)13 (males). The labrum longer than broad. Tongue longer than the prementum; pointed. Labial palps with segments 1 and 2 much longer than the distal two, and flattened. Mentum and submentum present.

Thorax. Pronotum more or less straight at the back; short, not extending back to the tegulae. Cenchri absent. Wings present. Fore-wings with a conspicuous pterostigma (?), or without a pterostigma; with the venation well developed. Closed fore-wing cells 6–10. Submarginal cells 2. Discoidal cells 2. Hind-wings with closed cells. Hind femur without a well defined trochantellus. Hind tibiae with spurs specialised for a cleaning rôle. Hind basitarsi wider than the other segments.

Abdomen. The abdomen with a marked basal constriction; short-waisted. The ‘waist’ simple. Visible abdominal segments 6 (females), or 7 (males). The gaster concolorous, or colour-patterned; when concolorous, black, grey or green; when patterned, black-and-orange, black-and-white, black-and-grey, dark-and-light brown, blue-and-whitish. Ovipositor of females not visibly protruding; modified as a retractable sting.

Larvae. Larvae legless or the legs vestigial; socially parasitic on hosts selected by the mother and predacious (occasionally, being raised in the nests of other megachilids), or feeding on material manufactured by the adults.

British representation. Species in Britain 36; Anthidium, Chelostoma, Chalicodoma(?), Coelioxys, Heriades, Hoplitis, Megachile, Osmia, Stelis.

Classification. Suborder Apocrita; Series Aculeata; Superfamily Apoidea.

Illustrations. • Anthidium manicatum (Muff-bodied Bee: B. Ent. 61). • Anthidium manicatum (detail: B. Ent. 61). • Anthidium manicatum (dissections: B. Ent. 61). • Anthidium manicatum: B. Ent. 61, legend+text. • Anthidium manicatum: B. Ent. 61, text cont.. • Osmia parietina Curtis (Ambleside Osmia: B. Ent. 222). • Osmia parietina (detail): B. Ent. 222. • Osmia parietina (dissections): B. Ent. 222. • Osmia parietina: B. Ent. 222, legend+text. • Osmia parietina: B. Ent. 222, text cont.. • Chelostoma florisomne: B. Ent. 628. • Chelostoma florisomne: B. Ent. 628, legend+text. • Chelostoma florisomne: B. Ent. 628, text cont.. • Coelioxys vectis (Isle of Wight Coelioxys: B. Ent. 349). • Coelioxys vectis (detail: B. Ent. 349). • Coelioxys vectis (dissections: B. Ent. 349). • Coelioxys vectis: B. Ent. 349, legend+text. • Coelioxys vectis: B. Ent. 349, text cont.. • Megachile willughbiella (Willughby's Leaf-cutter Bee: B. Ent. 218). • Heriades truncorum (Larger Heriades: B. Ent. 504). • Heriades truncorum: B. Ent. 504, legend+text. • Heriades truncorum: B. Ent. 504, text cont.. • Chelostoma, Coelioxys (Saunders XL). • 3 Coelioxys and 3 Megachile species (Saunders XLI). • 3 Megachile and 2 Osmia species (Saunders XLII). • 6 Osmia species (Saunders XLIII). • 1 Anthidium, 1 Osmia, 2 Hoplitis and 1 Stelis species (Saunders XLIV). • Osmia xanthomela: Stephens 1846.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hymenoptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.