Nesting ecology of Megachile (Chrysosarus) catamarcensis Schrottky (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), a Prosopis-specialist bee

Written by
Journal of Apicultural Research

Vol. 53 (5) pp. 590-598
DOI

10.3896/IBRA.1.53.5.06
Date

December 2014
Article Title

Nesting ecology of Megachile (Chrysosarus) catamarcensis Schrottky (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), a Prosopis-specialist bee
Author(s)

Juan Pablo Torretta , Silvana Patricia Durante  & Alicia Mabel Basilio
Abstract

Nests of the leafcutting bee Megachile (Chrysosarus) catamarcensis Schrottky (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) were obtained during a 24 month trap-nesting programme in a xeric forest in the Province of La Pampa, Argentina. Nests were constructed in December and January; females made an average of 4.0 ± 2.2 cells, and used mud with flower petals and/or leaf pieces to build their nests. Provisions of cells were practically pure pollen mass of Proposis caldenia. Adult emergence showed a unimodal pattern, suggesting a univoltine life cycle. However, two individuals that emerged a month after the traps were collected indicate the existence of a small early-summer generation. This could indicate that M. catamarcensis, in some years (warmer) or in some populations (at lower latitudes), could exhibit a bivoltine life cycle. Approximately 15.3 % of all offspring failed to complete development to the adult stage, and an additional 13.9 % were killed by natural enemies. These included diverse parasitic wasps (Chrysididae, Sapygidae, and Leucospidae), a cleptoparasite bee (Megachilidae: Coelioxys), and a bee fly (Bombyliidae: Antrhax).

Keywords

solitarybees, trap-nest, pollination, Argentina
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