Leafcutting bee

The leafcutting bee (Megachile latimanus) is a common and widespread solitary bee found between May and October in dry areas of savannas, grasslands, and agricultural fields. It has a stout, entirely black body densely covered with mostly pale yellow and black hairs. Unlike most bees the pollen-collecting hairs on leafcutting bees are on the underside of the abdomen, not on the legs.

Photo by Bill Reynolds

Photo by Bill Reynolds

This bee gets its common name from the nest-building female. She uses her enlarged, scissor-like mandibles to cut disks from leaves and uses the disks to create individual nests for her eggs.

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