Black Resin Bee
Ellura
Golden-browed Resin Bee
Female Face
 
    
Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Family: Leafcutter Bee (Bee: Megachilidae)
Species: Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons)
This Photo:     Female Head
Other name: Red-faced Mastic Bee

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), and elsewhere
These are on the large side for native bees at about 15mm long. Only the females have red eyes. As such, it's harder to identify the males. However, they both have a lovely Golden Brow on their faces. When trying to identify inverts, we amateur humans tend to use colour and patterns. This can be misleading. As you can see here, some look nearly white and others black. This is because the white ones are young and the black old. Many of the black ones white hairs have worn off leaving her dark shell as the primary colour to our naked eyes. There are 2 fundamental types of bee's; those that collect pollen on their legs (eg European Honey Bee) and those that collect it on their abdomen, like this fine lady. As such, you'd think she has a creamy white abdomen. But no, that's the colour of the Dry-land Tea Tree pollen she's collecting. In another area she could an have orange abdomen due to the colour of pollen. Making id very difficult. Finally, why a "Resin" bee. She belongs to the Leafcutter (Megachilidae) family. All species in this family use leaves to line their nests. As you can see in the last photo's, instead of cutting a leaf, she macerates it into a pulp; a "resin"
Forms a very neatly sealed plug to protect her offspring. This hole happens to be one of the screw holes (~10mm diameter) in a table outside. ALL of them are now full. She spent over 2 weeks filling them! As you can see, she's a solitary bee, unlike European bees that build hives. We don't have native social bees in SA, but they do have them in Qld. You will see blue banded bees roost together on a single stem, and other bees nest near each other. This is probably due to those areas being "ideal" locations. eg It's possible more than one female filled our table holes. But each cell is one female, unlike a hive.

Copyright © 2014- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 22-Feb-2014
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.