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Coelioxys rufitarsis Smith, 1854


Scientific Name: Coelioxys rufitarsis Smith, 1854

Common Name: Red-footed Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee


Coelioxys rufitarsis Smith 1854
Coelioxys dubitata Smith 1854
Coelioxys comstockii Cresson 1878
Coelioxys coloradensis Cresson 1878
Coelioxys rufitarsis rhois Cockerell 1903

Coelioxys comstocki Criddle et al. 1924: 100 [lapsus calami]
Coelioxys rufitarsis claripes Cockerell 1925



This species is a nest parasite that has been associated with seven different Megachile hosts, most of these ground-nesting species. Graenicher (1905) recorded both M. latimanus and M. melanophaea as hosts. Hicks (1926) reared it (as C. coloradensis Cresson) from a nest of M. montivaga, and also reported it near the nests of M. fortis. Hobbs (1956) and Baker (1975) recorded M. perihirta as a host, the latter based upon specimen label data from Alberta - presumably from Hobbs’ work in the Bow River area. Medler and Lussenhop (1968) reported that D.H. Pengelly found this species using M. texana as a host, and most recently Gordon et al. (2006) reared it from nests of M. wheeleri.



Baker JR (1975) Taxonomy of five nearctic subgenera of Coelioxys (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin (50) 12: 649-730.

Cockerell TDA (1903) North American bees, and a new homopteron. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (7) 12: 442-455.

Cockerell TDA (1925) Bees of the genus Coelioxys in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 1:145-151.

Cresson ET (1878) Catalogue of North American Apidae. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 7: 95-102.

Gordon DM, Thorp RW, Carey JR (2006) Overwintering mortality of brood of Megachile wheeleri Mitchell (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) a ground-nesting leafcutter bee in coastal dunes of northern California. Poster. 54th Annual Meeting o f the Entomological Society o f America. Indianapolis, IN. Available from

Graenicher S (1905) Some observations on the life history and habits of parasitic bees. Bulletin of the Wisconsin Natural History Society 3: 153-167.

Hicks CH (1926) Nesting habits and parasites of certain bees of Boulder County, Colorado. University of Colorado Studies 15: 217-252.

Hobbs GA (1956) Ecology of the leaf-cutter bee Megachile perihirta Ckll. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in relation to production of alfalfa seed. The Canadian Entomologist 87: 625-631.

Medler JT, Lussenhop JF (1968) Leaf-cutter bees of Wisconsin (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). University of Wisconsin Research Bulletin 27: 1-80.

Smith F (1854) Catalogue of the Hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum 2: 258-272.

Sociality: Parasitic
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Not Applicable
Wintering Stage: Mature Larva

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon
Ecozone: Atlantic Maritime, Boreal Plains, Boreal Shield, Mixwood Plains, Montane Cordillera, Pacific Maritime, Prairie, Taiga Plains, Western Interior Basin