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Megachile mendica Cresson, 1878


Scientific Name: Megachile mendica Cresson, 1878

Common Name: Flat-tailed Leafcutter Bee


Megachle mendica Cresson, 1878: 126 [♀].

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Cresson (1916: 123). USA, Pennsylvania [ASNP no. 2446].


Taxonomic notes: The ♂ was described by Robertson (1897: 352).

Bzdyk (2012: 47) incorrectly recorded the type locality of M. mendica Cresson, 1878 as California, and that the type material was a holotype, not a lectotype, though the original type series contained 24 specimens from Canada and severial eastern states. She also indicated that the lectotype could not be found (Bzdyk 2012: 59).

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAC4239

Biology: Fox (1900: 553) recorded Coelioxys octodentata Say, 1824 as a nest parasite. Medler (1965) studied its nesting biology in trap nests in Wisconsin, reporting both Coelioxys sayi Robertson, 1897 and C. octodentatus Say as nest parasites. Hawkins (1975) also reported it using trap nests.

Distribution in Canada: Cresson 1878 [Canada]; Couper 1881 [QC], 1883 [Canada]; Provancher 1882 [QC]; Mitchell 1935 [ON]; Sheffield et al. 2011 [BC, ON, QC]; Richards et al. 2011 [ON]; Normandin et al. 2017 [QC]; Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB].

Robertson (1897: 352) questioned Provancher’s (1883: 715) indentification of M. mendica from Quebec, and Mitchell (1935: 26) indicated that the records of this species by Provancher (1882: 231; 1883: 710, 715) were misidentifed specimens of M. latimanus Say, 1823.

The listing of M. mendica from BC by Sheffield et al. (2011: 41) was based on M. snowi Mitchell, 1927; though Sheffield and Heron (2019: 70) list both species from BC.

Body length: ♀ 11 - 13 mm ♂ 8 - 10 mm

Forewing length: ♀ 7.5 - 8 mm ♂ 6 - 7 mm


Cresson ET (1878) Descriptions of new North American Hymenoptera in the collection of the American Entomological Society. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 7: 61-136.

Medler JT (1965) A note on Megachile mendica Cresson in trap nests in Wisconsin (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 67: 113-116.

Mitchell TB (1935) A revision of the genus Megachile in the Nearctic region. Part II. Morphology of the male sternites and genital armature and the taxonomy of the subgenera Litomegachile, Neomegachile and Cressoniella. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 61(1): 1-44.

Sheffield CS, Heron JM (2019) The bees of British Columbia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes). Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 115: 44-85.

Cresson ET (1916) The Cresson types of Hymenoptera. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 1: 1-141.

Hawkins WA (1975) Nesting biology of Osmia (Chalcosmia) georgica (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 48(4): 493-499.

Sheffield CS, Ratti C, Packer L, Griswold T (2011) Leafcutter and mason bees of the genus Megachile Latreille (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in Canada and Alaska. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification 18: 1-107.

Fox WJ (1900) Coelioxys 8-dentata and its host. Entomological News 11(8): 553.

Bzdyk EL (2012) A revision of the Megachile subgenus Litomegachile Mitchell with an illustrated key and description of a new species (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae, Megachilini). ZooKeys 221: 31-61.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Ontario, Quebec
Ecozone: Mixwood Plains

Distribution Map