Bees of Canada Logo

Megachile sublaurita Mitchell, 1927


Scientific Name: Megachile sublaurita Mitchell, 1927

Common Name: Sublaurel Leafcutter Bee


Megachile laurita sublaurita Mitchell, 1927: 116 [♀].

     Holotype . USA, Utah [MCZ no. 15713].

Megachile (Megachiloides) subanograe Mitchell, 1934: 344 [♀]. Synonymy by Sheffield et al. (2011: 57).

     Holotype . USA, Wyoming, Green River (about 41° 32′ N., 109° 28′ W.), 6100 ft., 2 July 1920 [AMNH].

Megachile (Xeromegachile) maurata Mitchell, 1937: 369 [♂]. Suspected synonymy.

     Holotype ♂. USA, Wyoming, Green River, 6100 ft., 2 July 1920 [AMNH].


Taxonomic notes: In the original desctiption of Megachile laurita sublaurita Mitchell, 1927, Mitchell (1927: 116) considered it a subspecies of M. laurita Mitchell, 1927 [= M. anograe Cockerell, 1908] but subsequently considered it a variety (Mitchell 1936: 162). Though Sheffield et al. (2011: 57) recorded Megachile sublaurita as a new combination, it was previously treated as a full species by Mitchener (1951: 1176) and Hurd (1979: 2062).

Mitchell (1944: 139) examined five ♀s of M. subanograe Mitchell, 1934 (known only from the ♀ sex) that were accompanied with three ♂s of M. maurata Mitchell, 1936 (known only from the ♂ sex), all sharing collection information (as do the holotypes), leading Mitchell to speculate that they could be conspecific, though not making the synonymy (see page 137 in that same work). He later emphasized the association again, with more specimens caught together (Mitchell 1957: 27), though it continued to be recognized as a valid taxon (Michener 1951: 1177; Hurd 1979: 2064).

Sheffield et al. (2011: 57) synonymized M. subanograe under M. sublaurita based on analysis of COI sequences and indicated that M. subanograe represented a more common and widespread paler form of M. sublaurita, and the only recorded form from Canada (Ivanochko 1979; Sheffield et al. 2011). Sheffield et al. (2011: 58) also described the ♂ for the first time, though these have not yet been compared to the type material of M. maurata to confirm Mitchell’s (1944: 139) suspected synonymy.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:ABZ6737

Biology: This species nests in the ground (Bohart and Youssef 1972).

Distribution in Canada: Ivanochko 1979 [AB, as M. subanograe Mitchell]; Sheffield et al. 2011, 2014 [AB] 


Mitchell TB (1927) New megachilid bees. Psyche 34: 104-121.

Mitchell TB (1934) A revision of the genus Megachile in the Nearctic region. Part I. Classification and descriptions of new species (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 59(4): 295-361.

Mitchell TB (1936) A revision of the genus Megachile in the Nearctic region. Part IV. Taxonomy of the subgenera Xanthosarus, Phaenosarus, Megachiloides and Derotropis (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 62(2): 117-166.

Mitchell TB (1936) A revision of the genus Megachile in the Nearctic region. Part V. Taxonomy of the subgenus Xeromegachile (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 62(4): 323-382.

Hurd PD (1979) Superfamily Apoidea. In: Krombein KV, Hurd Jr PD, Smith DR, Burks BD (Eds) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 2735 pp.

Sheffield CS, Frier SD, Dumesh D (2014) The bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes) of the Prairies Ecozone, with comparisons to other grasslands of Canada. In: Giberson DJ, Cárcamo HA (Eds) Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands (Volume 4): Biodiversity and Systematics Part 2. 4. Biological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, 479 pp. [ISBN 978-0-9689321-7-9].

Michener CD (1951) Family Megachilidae. In: Muesebeck CF, Krombein KV, Townes HK (Eds) Hymenoptera of America north of Mexico Synoptic Catalog. 2. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Monograph, Washington. Pp. 1136-1186.

Mitchell TB (1944) New species and records in Megachile (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 20(4): 132-143.

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.

Bohart GE, Youssef NN (1972) Notes on the biology of Megachile (Megachiloides) umatillensis Mitchell (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) and its parasites. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 124(1): 1-19.

Ivanochko M (1979) Taxonomy, Biology and Alfalfa Pollinating Potential of Canadian Leaf-Cutting Bees: Genus Megachile Latreille (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). MSc Thesis, McGill University, Montreal, QC.

Sociality: Solitary
Nesting: Ground
Wintering Stage: Mature Larva

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alberta
Ecozone: Prairie

Distribution Map