Scientific Name: Chelostoma minutum Crawford, 1916

Common Name: Minute Scissor Bee


Chelostoma minuta Crawford, 1916: 102 [♀]

     Holotype ♀. USA, California, Tuolumne Meadows, by F. Long [USNM no. 20616]


Species Notes

♂‚ described by Michener (1938), who recognized four subspecies which have subsequently been raised to species level.



The nesting biology of this species was studied by Parker (1988) who indicated that it used trap nests (nesting blocks in drilled wood) with cavities of 2 mm diameter, with females producing 5.65 cells per nest on average. Nest partitions and the entrance plug are made with soil, and are approximately 0.7 mm thick (Parker 1988). Though Moldenke and Neff (1974) indicated this species was oligolectic on Phacelia, Parker (1988) found that Allium pollen made up the majority of pollen used in the provisions in most sites, suggesting narrow oligolecty on that genus, though Phacelia and Sedum(?) were used in another (Parker 1988). Sedivy et al. (2008) concluded this species was polylectic. Parker (1988) also described the cocoon.



Crawford JC (1916) Nine new species of Hymenoptera. Insecutor inscitiae menstruus 4: 101-107.

Michener CD (1938) American bees of the genus Chelostoma. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 14(1): 36-45.

Moldenke AR, Neff JL (1974) The bees of California, a catalogue with special relevance to pollination and ecological research. University of California, Santa Cruz.

Parker FD (1988) Nesting biology of two North American species of Chelostoma (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 64(1): 1-7. 

Sedivy C, Praz CJ, Müller A, Widmer A, Dorn S (2008) Patterns of host-plant choice in bees of the genus Chelostoma: the constraint hypothesis of host-range evolution in bees. Evolution 62(10): 2487-2507. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00465.x

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Cavity Renter
Pollen Specialization: Polylectic
Wintering Stage: Mature Larva

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Phacelia sp., Nemophila sp., Allium sp.

Distribution: British Columbia
Ecozone: Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map