Stelis coarctatus

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee
Stelis coarctatus

 

 

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis coarctatus on Ox-eye Daisy. May 29, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis coarctatus on Ox-eye Daisy. May 29, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification: Male and female almost identical.
Head: Black with some long white hairs around antenna bases; no other marks. Mandibles with 3 teeth. Cheeks slightly wider than eye width with a few short, white hairs. Male has lower face (clypeus) slightly protruding and more hair on face.
Antenna: Black, 10 segments on female, 11 on male. Pedicel longer than segment 1. 1st segment constricted at base.
Thorax: Entirely black, rough. Thorax sides have some long white hair. Tubercle (pronotal lobe) slightly raised, entirely dark. Male has more hair on thorax top and sides.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) large, dark and projecting outward. Wings smoky tinted, darker toward tips. Veins black.
Legs: Black, with dusting of very short white hair. Shins (tibiae) pointed at tips.

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis coarctatus on Ox-eye Daisy. May 30, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis coarctatus on Ox-eye Daisy. May 30, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.

Abdomen: Black, slightly shiny. Segment 1 to 3 have a very small white to cream spot at each side edge. Segment 4 has a very tiny dash each side of center, sometimes absent on male. Abdomen tip rounded, grooved and slanted down on female. Underside of male hairy.

Size: Female 6 to 7 mm. Male 5 mm.

Habitat: Meadows and forest edges.

Food: Adults feed on flower nectar.

Flight Time: May to early July

Life Cycle: One generation per year, over-winters in a prepupal stage in the nest of its host, the Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis carinata.

Comments: Not on any lists for Ontario. Wheatley per photos. Found in New Brunswick in 2001. Canadian National Collections (CNC) lists 8 (7 S. coarctatus & 1 S. vernalis), no locations. Also in southern Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Megachile sculpturalis

Giant Resin Bee
Megachile sculpturalis

 

Identification: Introduced from eastern Asia (China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea) and arrived in North Carolina in 1994. In Windsor in 2002 and in Point Pelee in 2003.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea, Aug 04, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea, Aug 04, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Head: Black, covered with black hair. Mandibles large and wide, 4 teeth on female; smaller with 3 teeth on male. Cheeks twice as wide as eye width on female. Male cheeks as wide as eye, underside has long yellow hair; area above mouth (clypeus) and around antenna bases has yellow hair. Male clypeus is flat, female’s protruding.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Black, entirely covered with bright, brownish-yellow hair. May have small to large black area or bald at centre of thorax. Hair changes to white on old individuals.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea. Jul 22, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea. Jul 22, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish-brown. Wings yellowish on base half, rest very dark. Veins reddish-brown. Holds wings out to sides when feeding.
Legs: Black, covered with black and brownish-yellow hair. Underside and middle foot fringe brownish-yellow. Male has less yellowish-brown hair. Front foot more reddish-brown than female. Hind leg longer and thinner than female.
Abdomen: Both male and female are parallel-sided, not cone-shaped. Abdomen black with a slight bluish tint; segments slightly constricted. Segment 1 covered with bright-brownish-yellow hair. Segment 2 and sometimes segment 3 have white pile at side edges on lower margin.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea. Jul 07, 2005, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis female on Everlasting Pea. Jul 07, 2005, Wheatley, Ontario.

Female tip pointed; underside covered with hair (pollen basket) brownish-yellow at base, rest black.
Male tip appears squarish (curved downward); underside entirely black. Male abdomen is shorter, wings reach tip.

Size: 18 to 24 mm long. Females are larger than males.

Habitat: Anywhere with tree spa (maple and pine).

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis male on Milkweed. Jul 31, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sculpturalis male on Milkweed. Jul 31, 2009, Wheatley, Ontario.

Food: Nectar and pollen from a variety of flowers, prefers non-native plants.

Flight Time: Mid-June to early September

Life Cycle: Nest in aggregations in pre-existing cavities, prefers Carpenter Bee holes in shaded areas. They do not chew wood. Females line their nest with tree resin (maple or pine) along with bits of rotten wood and sometimes mud, but not leaves. 8 to 10 cells per nest. Larvae pupate in late spring. These bees are not aggressive, and even when disturbed at the nesting site, the female will usually fly away. Males do not sting at all, females are not defensive, even at nest site. Classed as stingless bees.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee, Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Along north shore of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and now in Quebec.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Megachile pugnata

 

Sunflower Leafcutter
Megachile pugnata

Identification:
Female:

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata female on Cup Plant. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata female on Cup Plant. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Head: Black, large and square with a wide area of thick, yellowish-white hair surrounding antenna bases, reaching to inner eye margin. Top of head dull, with a few black hairs. Area above mouth (clypeus) extremely short. Cheeks twice as wide as eye width with a projection extending downward at lower back edge of cheek and yellowish hair on underside. Mandibles black, extremely large, wide and long; curved and fringed on underside with golden hair.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Black, bald to sparse black hairs on top of thorax. Yellowish-white hair along base or collar area. Yellowish-white mixed with mostly black hair on lower edge of thorax, with a fringe of yellowish hairs along sides from wing bases to end. Thorax sides covered with dense, yellowish-white hair.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) black. Wing tinted a dark brownish-yellow, tips darker. Veins brown-black.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata female flying to Cup Plant. Aug 11, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata female flying to Cup Plant. Aug 11, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Legs: Brownish-back with whitish-yellow fringe on underside of all thighs (femora). Shins (tibiae) have very short bright orange-yellowish to golden hairs and short fringe on underside. Feet reddish-brown with darker orange-yellowish to golden hairs, more orange-yellow on underside.
Abdomen: Black, parallel-sided, not cone-shaped as most Megachile.
Segment 1: Dense whitish-yellow hair at side edges; darker, shorter hair at center. No hair band.
Segments 2 to 5: Entire (uninterrupted) dense yellowish-white hair bands on the lower edge. Segments 2 to 4 have an indented line or groove near base; no white pile.
Segment 6: No marks, tip is small, rounded with a very slight up-curved lip.
Underside: Covered with yellowish-white to yellow hair (pollen basket). Segment 6 at tip has very short yellow hair with only a few black intermixed.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata male on Cup Plant. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata male on Cup Plant. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Male:
Head: Black, large, square; thick long yellowish-white hair covering face. Top of head scant black hairs with a few white, but mostly bald, surface dull. Cheeks equal to eye width, with a thick fringe of white hair at back edge. Mandibles small, short with a short spine on underside, hidden by white hair.
Antenna: Black. Tips very slightly longer and wider.
Thorax: Black, bald, surrounded with a slight fringe of whitish hair. Thorax sides more gray-white with some white tufts.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) brownish-yellow. Wings tinted brownish-yellow, tips darker. Veins reddish-brown to black.
Legs: Black with yellowish-white fringe on underside of all thighs (femora). All shins lightly covered with yellowish hairs. Feet reddish-brown, mid foot (basitarsi) has dense short, yellowish-white hair.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata male close-up of unusual front leg. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile pugnata male close-up of unusual front leg. Aug 12, 2008, Wheatley, Ontario.

Main ID: Front foot segment 1 (basitarsi) very large. Expanded front area has whitish-yellow hair with orange tip; very long fringe of orange-yellow, hair tips darker, on underside.
Abdomen: Black, parallel-sided
Segment 1: Base straight across, not rounded. Segment covered with long pale hair. Hair band on lower margin at side edges only.
Segments 2 to 4: Indented or grooved lines at base of segments, with white pile; sometimes not visible on 3 if segment is retracted, usually visible on segment 4. Lower margin has white hair bands, not interrupted at centre: narrow on 2; wider on 3 and 4.
Segment 5: Slightly curved under with sparse, narrow white hair band on lower margin.
Segment 6: Curved under. Tip has several small projections (not spines) each side of indented or notched centre.
Underside: Rows of yellowish-white hair tufts, almost as long as female’s pollen basket.

Size: Female 15 to 17 mm. Considered large. Male 11 to 13 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Said to prefer Sunflowers Helianthus, but the majority of bees can be found on Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatium even when Helianthus is available.

Flight Time: July and August

Life Cycle: Nests in borings of dead sumac twigs, trap-nests, rotting logs. Usually, Megachile females that use resin all have parallel-sided abdomens, not cone-shaped like the rest of the Megachile. M. pugnata also has a parallel-sided abdomen, but does not use resin, instead chews parts of leaves, mixing them with soil particles (not mud) and secretions from the abdomen tip for ‘glue’. Then, smooths the cell walls with her head. Egg to adult 36 to 37 days. One generation per year in Ontario, possibly two in Michigan (June to September).

Parasite: Leaf-cutter Cuckoo Bee Coelioxys alternata.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee, Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread in Ontario and southern Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Megachile campanulae

Bellflower Resin Bee
Megachile campanulae

 

Identification:

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Everlasting Pea. July 16, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Everlasting Pea. July 16, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.

Head: Black with scattered white hair on face. Top of head mostly bald. Mandibles black, 4 blunt teeth on female, 3 on male. Cheeks about equal to eye width; a few white hairs on lower half. Male has more hair on face and lower cheeks.
Antenna: Black, tips long. Female segments about the same size; male segment 1 very short.
Thorax: Black, bordered with scattering of white hair. Thorax sides scattered white hair, more dense around tubercles (pronotal lobe) which is a white crescent. Male has slightly more hair.
Wings: Wing knob black. Wings clear, darker at tips. Veins blackish.
Legs: Black with scattering of white hair. Female has hair more yellowish-brown and dense on feet. Underside of hind foot segment 1 (basitarsi) darker golden. Male feet dense white.

Megachile campanulae female stripes appear split.
Megachile campanulae female stripes appear split.

Abdomen: Black, long, narrow, parallel-sided on both male and female. (see Life Cycle)
Segment 1 has short, dense white hair band at side edges.
Segments 2 to 4: Very narrow hair band at the base of each segment. Each segment also has an indented line starting at the lower segment edge on each side and curving upward to the middle of the segment. These indentation are covered with thick, wide white pile at the side edges and fade out towards center.  Because the indented pile stripe is so close to the base stripe on the next segment, they have the appearance of a somewhat divided single stripe.
Segment 5 has only faint traces of a hair band at the base on female, more obvious on male.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Everlasting Pea. Aug 16, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Everlasting Pea. Aug 16, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.

Segment 6 covered with very short whitish hair, tip curves slightly upward on female; entire segment curved under on male with long white hair. Underside covered with yellowish-white hair (pollen basket) on female. Underside of male has only 3 visible segments with long white hair.

Similar Species: Very similar to Heriades carinata which does not have split stripes on abdomen. Otherwise almost identical.

Size: Female 10 to 12 mm. Male 8 to 9 mm.

Habitat: Meadows

Food: Flower nectar.

Flight Time: July to September

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Jerusalem Artichoke. Sep 12, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae female on Jerusalem Artichoke. Sep 12, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario.

Life Cycle: Nests made in wood, dead stems (like Sumac), clay (1 report) or plant debris. Megachile females that use resin all have parallel-sided abdomens, not cone-shaped like the rest of the Megachile. Cells are made from resin, small pebbles and mud. Although classed as a leaf-cutter, no leaves are used in cell construction.  2 to 9 cells per nest, with long partitions. Over-winters as larva in a sturdy white cocoon, not pupating until spring the next year. One generation per year.
Parasitized by the Cuckoo Bees Stelis louisae and Coelioxys modesta.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee. Niagara, Waterloo and Cayuga.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Stelis louisae

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee
Stelis louisae

 

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae female on Ox-eye Sunflower. Aug 15, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae female on Ox-eye Sunflower. Aug 15, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black with a few white hairs from antenna base to top of head. Wide yellow stripe up inner eye margin. Top of head (vertex) has yellow stripe which may be interrupted at center across back of head (see note). Simple eyes (ocelli) large. Mandibles black with 3 teeth. Cheeks slightly narrower than eye width. Male has yellow wavy stripe above mouth area (clypeus).

Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Black with yellow stripes. Collar yellow, continues around side edges to wing knobs (tegulae), widely interrupted at center. Segment 2 (scutellum) has two very small projections (axillae) at each side, yellow. Yellow continues around lower edge of segment 2. Thorax side has yellow tubercle with raised edge. Large yellow spot below tubercle; smaller spot behind wing base. (see note).
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) large, yellowish-brown. Wings lightly tinged, darker in marginal and sub-marginal cells. Veins brownish.
Legs: Thighs (femora) black with brownish-yellow tips; sometimes almost ½ black. Shins and feet brownish-yellow.

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae female on Ox-eye Sunflower. Aug 15, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae female on Ox-eye Sunflower. Aug 15, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Abdomen: Black with yellow marks.
Segment 1 has a wide band across segment, may be slightly reddish on lower edge.
Segment 2 has long oval spot at each side edge. (see note)
Segments 3 and 4 stripes have notches (emarginate) on base edge of stripe, may be entire, or interrupted.
Segment 5 has a short stripe more in center, unbroken.
Segment 6 entirely black, not spined.

Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae male on Cup Plant. Aug 13, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.
Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee Stelis louisae male on Cup Plant. Aug 13, 2009 Wheatley, Ontario.

Male: Segment 7 entirely black; underside of segment 2 is large and partly covers segment 3. Segment 4 to 8 mostly hidden. Underside of abdomen tip has pair of thick spines at center, and a tuft of long hairs at each side edge. Female underside black.

Note: Marks at back of head and on the side of the thorax are usually missing in Ontario (Essex County considered the northern limit of the species) and an additional dashed line may be present at centre of abdomen segment 2 (references Johnson, 1979). Further south the yellow marks and legs are more orange. Because the male abdomen curls under, male and female are difficult to tell apart, except for the partly yellow clypeus on the male.

Size: 8 mm.

Habitat: Meadows and forest edges.

Food: Adults feed on nectar from flowers. Larva are parasites of other Leaf-cutter bees.

Flight Time: Mid-July to August

Life Cycle: Parasitizes Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile campanulae.

Comments: Apparently only found in Essex County – Point Pelee, Ojibway Prairies. Considered the northern extent of the species.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Hoplitis pilosifrons

Leaf-cutter Bee
Hoplitis pilosifrons

 

Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons female on Fleabane. June 07, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons female on Fleabane. June 07, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black, with short pale hair around antenna base and on lower cheeks. Area above mouth (clypeus) convex, long, extending beyond head. Mandibles with 3 teeth. Cheeks as wide as eye width. Male has dense hair over most of face, more yellowish and mandibles have 2 teeth.

Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons male on Fleabane. June 22, 2010 Celista, British Columbia.
Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons male on Fleabane. June 22, 2010 Celista, British Columbia.

Antenna: Female: Black, all segments equal in length. Underside more brownish-yellow. Tips not pointed like the male.
Male: Main ID: Base (scape) thick, swollen, widening at center. Segments thick, wider than long. Tips curved and indented forming a thin sharp point. Antenna brownish-yellow on underside.
Thorax: Black with short, pale hair. Hair much longer on male.Wings: Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) shiny black. Wings tinted, slightly darker along outer margin. Veins brownish.
Legs: Entirely black. Feet have cream-coloured hair on underside of female. Males have short, white hairs on legs, reddish toes.

Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons male on Oxeye Daisy. June 06, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Hoplitis pilosifrons male on Oxeye Daisy. June 06, 2014 Wheatley, Ontario.

Abdomen: Black, long, shiny. Segments 1 to 4 have white hair bands along lower margin of segments. Usually bands on 1 and 2 interrupted, others entire. Tip has thin fringe of white hair. Underside covered with yellowish-white hair (pollen basket). Male similar, with hair along side edges of abdomen; underside without hair and a large projection on underside of segment 2. Last few segments curled under, toothed.

Size: Female 6.5 to 8.5 mm. Male 7 to 8.5 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Prefers Beard-tongue Penstemon; other flowers like Dewberry Rubus, Fleabane and clover.

Flight Time: Mid May to July

Life Cycle: Nests in dead stems like Dewberry, Raspberry and Sunflower Helianthus. Females remove pith from stems and carry it about 1 to 3 feet away from nest before dropping it. Females partition cells in the stem by cutting leaves, but chewing them to form a pulp.
Parasite: Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Stelis lateralis.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies, Lake Erie Islands, Point Pelee. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Also in Peel County and southern Michigan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Dianthidium simile

Leaf-cutter Bee
Dianthidium simile

Only one species occurs in Ontario. Black with white marks in Ontario. Farther south in U.S. the marks are yellow.

Identification:

Leaf-cutter Bee Dianthidium simile male on Stonecrop Sedum June 28, 2006 on Robinson Island, near Killarney, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Dianthidium simile male on Stonecrop Sedum June 28, 2006 on Robinson Island, near Killarney, Ontario.

Head: Dull black, rough; covered with very short pale hair. White mark behind each eye at top of head. Above mouth area (clypeus) white spot at each side, continues as a narrowing stripe up inner eye margins. Male has clypeus entirely white to pale yellow. Mandibles black on female, white on male; 3 teeth. Cheeks slightly narrower than eye width.
Note: Below the antenna bases, the antennal or sub-antennal sutures are usually curved, indented lines running down to clypeus, but on D. simile these lines are raised and jut outward – unique, but difficult to see.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax: Dull black, rough; very short white hairs. Collar (pronotum) widens considerably at each side edge; a white spot each side of center and another on tubercle on thorax side (pronotal lobe). Segment 1 has tiny points (axillae) at sides of lower margin, white and joined to stripe on segment 2. Segment 2 (scutellum) rounded at lower margin, with a wide white stripe following contours, and usually interrupted at centre. Thorax sides have long pale to whitish hairs under wing base.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) reddish with a semi-circle of yellow to white on bottom edge. Wings darkly tinted, veins and marginal cell almost black.
Legs: Black with short, golden hair. Thighs (femora) have white at tips; less on male. Front and mid shins (tibiae) have large white streak. Hind shin has wide streak at base. Feet brownish-red on female; white streaks on male.
Abdomen: More shiny, black. Segment 1 has 3 squarish marks, two at side edges and one at centre. Segments 2 to 5 have curved white marks each side of center. Marks are thicker at each end. Segment 6 is entirely black. Segment 7 (male only) black base, rest white. Male abdomen tip white. Underside of female covered with golden hair (pollen basket). Underside of male somewhat reddish with long hair on 3 and 5.

Size: 8 to 10 mm. Male larger than female.

Habitat: Bare sand, with grasses; usually near streams, lakes or rivers and conifer trees.

Food: Nectar from a variety of flowers.

Flight Time: Late June to early September.

Life Cycle: Females dig their nests in sand, at the base of dried clumps of grass, forming a small cluster of cells with resin, small pebbles and sand. Nests usually face south and are hidden by dead grass leaves. Will nest communally (24 nests to 1 sq. meter (3 sq. feet). One report of a nest using rotting wood.

Comments: Northern Ontario; Sudbury, Muskoka, Parry Sound, Algonquin Park, Carleton County, Ottawa, Lanark, Victoria, Northumberland, Durham, Bruce, Georgian Bay (Go Home Bay BugGuide), Wellington (Guelph) and Norfolk.
Note: Two females collected at Port Hope, Ontario, July 28, 1895 (by W. H. Harrington, Nos. 52 and 53) reported by Swenk, 1914 – no records; not listed by Romankova 2003.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Heriades carinata

Leaf-cutter Bee
Heriades carinata

 

Leaf-cutter Bee Heriades carinata female on Milkweed leaf. July 02, 2014. Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Heriades carinata female on Milkweed leaf. July 02, 2014. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black, squarish, rough (dense punctures). White hair on lower face and along inner eye margins. Mandibles toothed; narrowed, ridged and angled at joint under lower eye – main ID mark for female. Cheeks as wide as eye width with some white hairs. Male head smaller than female’s, mandibles not angled, cheek narrower with longer hair.

Leaf-cutter Bee Heriades carinata female on Dogbane. June 29, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Heriades carinata female on Dogbane. June 29, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.

Antenna: Short, black on female, as long as thorax on male.
Thorax: Slightly raised and rounded, rough (dense punctures), with some scattered white hair. Male has slight fringe of white hair around thorax.
Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) dark. Wings slightly dusky at base, dark on rest. Veins and stigma dark.
Legs: Short, black legs with slight covering of white pile. Female has yellowish hair on feet, more so on front feet. Male feet are black.

Leaf-cutter Bee Heriades carinata male on Milkweed flower. June 29, 2014. Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Heriades carinata male on Milkweed flower. June 29, 2014. Wheatley, Ontario.

Abdomen: Long, easily curled. Segments constricted at each end (spare tire look); rough punctured and with a line of white hair across lower margins. Segment 1 base flattened. Abdomen tip rounded, with fringe of white hair. Underside covered with pale yellowish-white hair (pollen basket).
Male has rounded projection on underside of segment 1. Abdomen tip always curled under.

Similar Species:
Chelostoma species have much smoother skin (no dense punctures); C. rapunculi male has projection on underside of abdominal segment 2, not 1.
Hoplitis have oddly shaped antennae with pointed tips, smoother skin (no dense punctures).
Heriades leavitti female does not have angled mandibles; male has long pointed projection on underside of abdominal segment 1; reddish toes.
Heriades variolosa female does not have angled mandibles; male is smaller (5 mm), has very small, barely visible projection on underside of abdominal segment 1, usually pointed, and orange-red on front thigh (femora) of legs.

Size: 7 mm.

Habitat: Dry, open areas; prairies and meadows.

Food: Nectar from a variety of flowers.

Flight Time: June to August in Ontario.

Life Cycle: Often uses old nests of Sweat Bee Hylaeus and Leaf-cutter Osmia, Sumac twigs and old beetle tunnels in logs. About 5 or 6 cells are made in tunnel. Resin used for cell partitions. Males hatch out about 5 days before females. Over-winter as mature larvae. One generation per year.
Parasites: Sapygid Wasp Sapyga louisae; Leucospis affinis, and Leaf-cutter Cuckoo Bee Stelis vernalis.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies, Lake Erie Islands. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Also Niagara, Bruce Peninsula, Manitoulin Island.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Chelostoma rapunculi

Leaf-cutter Bee
Chelostoma rapunculi

 

Leaf-cutter Bee Chelostoma rapunculi female on Culver's Root July 20, 2015, Leamington, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Chelostoma rapunculi female on Culver’s Root July 20, 2015, Leamington, Ontario.

From Europe and Asia, introduced to New York as early as 1962. In Ontario by 2005.

Identification:
Head: Black, squarish, smooth (few punctures) but not shiny. Above mouth area (clypeus) slightly raised (convex); mouth area more concave. Mandibles black, short, with 3 teeth. Cheeks as wide as eye width. Female has very few white hairs on lower face. Male dense whitish hair on lower face and cheeks.

Leaf-cutter Bee Chelostoma rapunculi female on Culver's Root July 22, 2015, Leamington, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Chelostoma rapunculi female on Culver’s Root July 22, 2015, Leamington, Ontario.

Antenna: Black, short, 10 segments on female, 11 on male. Male antenna do not appear much longer than female’s.
Thorax: Black, smooth (few punctures), not shiny; slightly raised with some white hair around edges. White hair tufts before wing bases. Segment 3 (propodeum) very short, slanted downward. Male has dense white hair along lower half of thorax sides.

Wings: Wing knobs (tegulae) black, wings dusky, darker on last half.
Legs: Black with white pile stripes and a line of white fringe on along underside of legs. Feet sometimes have more yellowish hair.

Abdomen: Black with white hair band on each lower edge of segments. Segments slightly constricted (spare tire-like). Segment 1 only slightly concave at base. Underside of female covered with white hair (pollen basket). Male has obvious long projection with rounded, slanted tip on underside of segment 2; last segment has 3 lobes, ends squarish (truncate).

Leaf-cutter Bee Chelostoma rapunculi male on Musk Mallow July 02, 2013, Wheatley, Ontario.
Leaf-cutter Bee Chelostoma rapunculi male on Musk Mallow July 02, 2013, Wheatley, Ontario.

Similar Species: Hoplitis species have oddly-shaped antenna with pointed tips. Heriades species have rough-textured skin (dense punctures).
Chelostoma campanularum and C. philadelphi have no hair bands on abdomen.

Size: 8 to 11 mm.

Habitat: Forests and forest edges.

Food: Nectar from flowers such as Wild Geranium, Bellflowers, Viper’s Bugloss Echium vulgare, Musk Mallow Malva moschata. Must have Campanula species pollen for larvae.

Flight Time: June to end of July.

Life Cycle: Nests in old wood stumps and fence posts with beetle tunnels, and hollow stems. Females must have pollen from Campanula flowers to feed young. Males often sleep in these flowers. One generation per year.

Comments: Listed for southern Ontario – Niagara and Toronto area. Essex County – photos.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Anthidium oblongatum

Leaf-Cutter Bee
Anthidium oblongatum

 

Not native. From Mediterranean and central Asia. First found in New York 1994; eastern Pennsylvania in 1995; Ohio 1999; Ontario 2002; Michigan 2007; Illinois 2008; Colorado 2009; Washington 2012; Minnesota 2013. Although classed as leaf-cutters, females do not cut leaves, but strip fibers off leaves and stems of hairy plants.

Wool-carder Bee Anthidium oblongatum on Sedum Sept 04, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Wool-carder Bee Anthidium oblongatum on Sedum Sept 04, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black, covered with long, pale to white hair. Narrow yellow oblong spot behind each eye on male. Female has wide yellow stripe across back of head, slightly interrupted at center. Lower face (clypeus) yellow, sometimes with a pair of black spots. Mandibles yellow, toothed; tip reddish.
Thorax: Black. May have a yellow line above wing bases and yellow spots at end of thorax sometimes on female, but not on the male. Segment 2 (scutellum) has small, barely visible projecting points (axillae) at each side, yellow. White hair on thorax sides, thorax end and on underside.
Wings: Reddish wing knobs (tegulae) with yellow crescent on lower edge. Wings dark, veins black.

Wool-carder Bee Anthidium oblongatum male on Aster Sept 06, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Wool-carder Bee Anthidium oblongatum male on Aster Sept 06, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Legs: Thighs (femora) black with varying amounts of yellow or red at tips. Hind thigh sometimes entirely reddish-yellow. Shins squarish, mostly yellow with some brown streaks. Feet (very long on male) yellow to yellowish-orange, toes reddish-brown. Both male and female have short white fringe on underside of all legs.
Abdomen: Black with yellow stripes interrupted at centre, progressively smaller interrupts to tip. Female tip rounded and underside of abdomen covered with whitish hair (pollen basket).

Wool-carder Bee Anthidium oblongatum male on Aster Sept 06, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.
Wool-carder Bee Anthidium oblongatum male on Aster Sept 06, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Male stripes on segments 1 and 2 are curved and narrowed much more than female. Fringe all along side edges of abdomen. Last segment has very a very small projection or point at each side edge and at centre. Tip has wide indent at center (bi-lobed), not spines.

Similar Species: Anthidium manicatum has black wing knobs (tegulae) and is a larger bee (11 to 17 mm). Thorax has yellowish-brown hair, not white. The male A. manicatum has more broken up abdominal stripes, A. oblongatum always has solid stripes, only interrupted as centre. Leg colour is not a reliable ID.

Size: 8 to 9 mm.

Habitat: Dry, usually sandy areas.

Food: Nectar and pollen from a variety of flowers. Prefers Sedum.

Flight Time: August to September. (June to Sept. in Michigan).

Life Cycle: Cavity nesting in stone walls, rock gardens, sometimes in grapevine, rocky soils and debris. Overwinters as larva in a cocoon. Nests usually have up to eight cells and are lined with hairs collected off of plants such as Lamb’s Ear Stachys, Globe Thistles Echinops, Dusty Miller (bedding plant) and others. One generation per year.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies. Now widespread in southern Ontario.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page