Male Megachile willughbiella (garden) Leaf cutter bee

This is one of the types of leaf cutter bee I get in the garden, the male of this species is quite recognisable due to its blond hairy front legs.

Distribution
Megachile willughbiella is one of the most frequently observed and widely distributed leafcutter bees in the British Isles. It is found from the Isles of Scilly through Cornwall and Devon northwards, though sporadically, to Inverness, Scotland. Also recorded in Ireland and the Channel Islands. Records naturally are less frequent the more northerly one travels. Despite its wide geographical spread there are still gaps in its current distribution. Mid and north Wales and the north Midlands appear not to support this species though this is possibly a consequence of limited recording activity in these regions rather than a restriction in range. It should also be noted that these potentially under-recorded regions are high altitude which may have a bearing on this species’ abundance and distribution.

Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as scarce or threatened.

Habitat
Found in a variety of habitats where there is suitable nesting and foraging. Gardens and brownfield sites are frequently visited and used for nesting by this species, particularly in the main centres of conurbation in England.

Flight period
Mid-June through July and into early August is the optimum flight period for this species.

Pollen collected
Polylectic, recorded from Asteraceae, Campanulaceae, Fabaceae and Onagraceae (Westrich, 1989). It is noted by Else (1999 and pers. comm.) that M. willughbiella shows a preference for bellflowers.

Nesting biology
Nests can be located either in wood or soil, there is also a record of a nest in a length of rubber hose in a greenhouse (Else, 1999). The cells are constructed from leaves including beech and tutsan.

Flowers visited
Bellflowers, bird’s-foot-trefoils, thistles and brambles are all visited by M. willughbiella

BWARS 

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3 thoughts on “Male Megachile willughbiella (garden) Leaf cutter bee

  1. I saw one of these on a flowering artichoke in my garden a few days ago. It was the first time I had ever seen one. I tried to get a photograph of it but I think it has a tendency to hold up its furry forelegs like it is doing in one of your photos. Because of the angle I was viewing it from, it looks as if it has only got four legs in the photograph. Ah well, better luck next time. Amelia

    • I see mostly the females this is the first male I have seen. Opening my blog up to all insects etc from not just my garden has got me even more into insects , I’ve just ordered a insect net to run a round the fields with next year lol

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