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3385Megachile melanophaea in Michigan?

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  • Matthew Shepherd
    Jun 2, 2014

    Hi,

     

    Some photos of a nesting aggregation in a sloping front yard were posted on Xerces’ Facebook page. The photos were taken in “mid west Michigan” and clearly show a robust, hairy bee carrying a leaf piece into a ground nest. I’ve attached a couple of photos, but they may be scrubbed by the listserve’s computers. You should be able to see the photos on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Xerces-Society/193182577358618, as a post by Natalie Beversluis. (Or I can send them to you directly.)

     

    The bees have massive jaws (appear to be tridentate), a dark head with some pale hairs, the thorax and the first couple of abdominal segments are covered in pale hairs, and the rest of the abdomen is dark.

     

    I believe the bees to be Megachile melanophaea, also called the black-and-gray leafcutter bee according to a few websites. Is this likely? Are there other ground-nesting megachilids in Michigan?

     

    Thanks!

     

    Matthew

     

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