Original article


, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 624-633

First online:

Nesting biology of the leafcutting bee Megachile (Pseudocentron) gomphrenoides (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in an agro-ecosystem

  • Juan Pablo TorrettaAffiliated withFacultad de Agronomía, Cátedra de Botánica AgrícolaConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas Email author 
  • , Silvana Patricia DuranteAffiliated withDivisión Entomología, Museo de La Plata
  • , María Guadalupe ColomboAffiliated withDivisión Entomología, Museo de La Plata
  • , Alicia Mabel BasilioAffiliated withCunicultura y Apicultura, Facultad de Agronomía, Cátedra de Avicultura

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The nesting biology of the leafcutting bee Megachile (Pseudocentron) gomphrenoides Vachal (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) was studied in an agro-ecosystem in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Data were obtained from trap-nests placed in the field margin during two agricultural years (2008/2009 and 2009/2010). Females made an average of 7.55 cells per nest, and used leaves of at least three plant species to build their nests. Provisions of cells were principally of Asteraceae pollen. Adult emergence showed a bimodal pattern suggesting a facultative bivoltinism life cycle. Approximately, 30 % of all offspring failed to complete development to the adult stage and an additional 10 % were killed by natural enemies. These included parasitic wasps (Eulophidae: Melittobia and Horismenus), a cleptoparasite bee (Megachilidae: Coelioxys), and a bristle beetle (Meloidae: Tetraonyx). The host/cleptoparasite association between M. gomphrenoides and Coelioxys remissa constitutes the first such record for both species, and the MegachileTetraonyx interaction was previously unknown. M. gomphrenoides possesses some characteristics that make it an interesting potential opportunity to use this species for pollination of commercial sunflowers in the Pampean region.


solitary bees trap-nest pollination Argentina