Megachile lapponica Thomson,1872

Description and notes

Extinct in Britain. A single record from 1847. Else (1999) includes this species in the notes but not the key, although it should be included in his forthcoming monograph. A key is provided in Amiet et al. (2004).

Distribution

In Britain it is only known from a single record at Weybridge, Surrey, in 1847.

On the continent it is known from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, south Russia, Switzerland and Poland. In Denmark it is noted as being common. Further afield, Megachile lapponica is found in the east Palaearctic region.

Status (in Britain only)

Shirt (1987) and Falk (1991) list Megachile lapponica as Appendix (extinct) as there are no post-1900 records.

Habitat

In Germany the species is known from forest edges and clearings. It is not a heat-loving species, being found in montane and boreal forested areas of Europe.

Flight period

A univoltine species, the bee is reported to be on the wing in Germany from mid-June to August. It can be assumed that it would have a similar flight period in Britain.

Pollen collected

There is a strong preference for rosebay willowherb and it is suggested that the bee is oligolectic on this species.

Nesting biology

As with other leaf-cutter bees, Megachile lapponica nests in wood of varying types and in a variety of situations from tree stumps to fence posts. Reports suggest that the leaves of rosebay willowherb are used to create the brood cells.

Flowers visited

It has been reported to forage from Rubus species, willowherbs and Fabaceae.

Parasites

Coelioxys inermis (Kirby) is reported to be a parasite of Megachile lapponica.

Author of profile

A Jukes.

Year profile last updated

2016