Megachile leachella (leaf cutter bee) Suffolk

Another great find

Our smallest (female wing length to 7mm) and most distinctive-looking leaf-cutter. Both sexes tend to have a silvery appearance because of the conspicuous white hair bands across the tergites, though very fresh individuals also have a brownish tinge.

Males have tergite 6 covered in dense white hairs (tergite 6 dark in all other Megachile species) and in life the eyes are bright green. Females have the pollen brush comprised entirely of silvery-white hairs, and tergite 6 has two patches of white hairs.

M. leachella is widespread and locally common around the coastline of southern Britain, typically on coastal dunes, but also using vegetated shingle and coastal brownfield sites. It is occasionally reported well inland, usually associated with sandpits.

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