The lithurgine bees of Australia (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), with a note on Megachile rotundipennis


  • Victor H Gonzalez Southwestern Oklahoma State University
  • Michael S. Engel University of Kansas
  • Terry L Griswold USDA-ARS, Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory, Utah State University



Megachilidae, Lithurginae, Lithurgini, Lithurgus, Austrothurgus, Megachile


Austrothurgus Gonzalez & Engel, new genus, is described and figured for three species of lithurgine bees (Megachilidae: Lithurginae: Lithurgini) from Australia. Austrothurgus is distinguished from other Lithurginae by the presence of arolia in males (absent in females), first flagellomere long in both sexes, female facial prominence mostly involving the base of clypeus, and male metabasitarsus with distinct, elevated carina on its inner surface. Austrothurgus malgaru Gonzalez, Engel, & Griswold, new species, from Western Australia is also described and figured. A neotype is designated for Lithurgus dentipes Smith and lectotypes for L. atratus Smith, L. cognatus Smith, and L. rubricatus Smith. The following two new combinations are established: A. cognatus (Smith) and A. rubricatus (Smith). An updated key to the genera of Lithurgini as well as diagnoses, illustrations, and a key to the species occurring in Australia are provided. Taxonomic notes and a new lectotype designation for the Indo-Pacific species Megachile (Eutricharaea) rotundipennis Kirby are also appended.


Metrics Loading ...


Ashmead, W.H. 1899. Classification of the bees, or the superfamily Apoidea. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 26(1): 49–100.

Baker, D.B. 1993. The Type Material of the Nominal Species of Exotic Bees described by Frederick Smith. Ph.D. dissertation, Oxford University; Oxford, UK; [i]+[i]–vi+312+14 pp.

Baker, D.B., & M.S. Engel. 2006. A new subgenus of Megachile from Borneo with arolia (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). American Museum Novitates 3505: 1–12.

Berthold, A.A. 1827. Latreille’s natürliche Familien des Tierreichs. Aus dem Französischen, mit Anmerkungen und Zusätzen. Verlage des Gr.H.S. priv. Landes-Industrie-Comptoirs; Weimar, Germany; x+606 pp.

Cardale, J.C. 1993. Hymenoptera: Apoidea. In: Houston, W.W.K., & G.V. Maynard (Eds.), Zoological Catalogue of Australia [Volume 10]: 1–405. AGPS [Australian Government Publishing Service]; Canberra, Australia; ix+406 pp.

Cockerell, T.D.A. 1905. Descriptions and records of bees.?II. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7 16(93): 292?301.

Cockerell, T.D.A. 1909. Descriptions and records of bees.?XXII. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 8 4(22): 309?317.

Cockerell, T.D.A. 1930. The bees of Australia. Australian Zoologist 6: 137?156, 205?236.

Engel, M.S. 2001. A monograph of the Baltic amber bees and evolution of the Apoidea (Hymenoptera). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 259: 1–192.

Fabricius, J.C. 1787. Mantissa Insectorum, sistens eorum species nuper detectas adiectis characteribus genericis, differentiis, specificis emendationibus, observaionibus [Tome I]. C.G. Proft; Hafniae [Copenhagen], Denmark; xx+348 pp.

Fox, W.J. 1902. Lithurgopsis, a new genus of bees. Entomological News 13(3): 137–140.

Gonzalez, V.H. 2008. Phylogeny and classification of the bee tribe Megachilini (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Megachilidae), with emphasis on the genus Megachile. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kansas; Lawrence, Kansas; 274 pp.

Gonzalez, V.H., T. Griswold, C.J. Praz, & B.N. Danforth. 2012. Phylogeny of the bee family Megachilidae (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) based on adult morphology. Systematic Entomology 37(2): 261–286.

Gonzalez, V.H., M.S. Engel, M. Lucia, & L.J. Alvarez. 2013. Species status and new distribution records for Lithurgus huberi (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae, Lithurginae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 30: 13?18.

Griswold, T., & V.H. Gonzalez. 2011. New species of the Eastern Hemisphere genera Afroheriades and Noteriades (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae), with keys to species of the former. ZooKeys 159: 65–80.

Kirby, W.F. 1900. Hymenoptera. In: Andrews, C.W. (Ed.), A Monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean): Physical features and geology by Charles W. Andrews, B.A., B.Sc., F.G.S., with Descriptions of the Fauna and Flora by Numerous Contributors: 81–88. British Museum (Natural History); London, UK; xiii+[i]+337pp., +21 pls.

Latreille, P.A. 1825. Familles Naturelles du Règne Animal, exposées succinctement et dans un ordre analytique, avec l’indication de leurs genres. J.-B. Baillière; Paris, France; [ii]+570 pp.

Lieftinck, M.A. 1939. Uit het leven van Lithurgus atratus, een indisch houtbijtje. Tropische Natuur 28: 193–201.

Michener, C.D. 1965. A classification of the bees of the Australian and South Pacific regions. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 130: 1–362.

Michener, C.D. 1983. The classification of the Lithurginae (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 59(1–4): 176–187.

Michener, C.D. 1997. Genus-group names of bees and supplemental family-group names. Scientific Papers, Natural History Museum, University of Kansas 1: 1–81.

Michener, C.D. 2007. The Bees of the World [2nd Edition]. Johns Hopkins University Press; Baltimore, MD; xvi+[i]+953 pp., +20 pls.

Moure, J.S. 1949. Las espécies Chilenas de la sub-familia Lithurginae (Hym.-Apoidea). Arquivos do Museu Paranaense 7(5): 265–286.

Moure, J.S., & G.A.R. Melo. 2007. Lithurgini Newman, 1834. In: Moure, J.S., D. Urban, G.A.R. Melo (Eds.), Catalogue of Bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) in the Neotropical Region: 914–917. Sociedade Brasileira de Entomologia; Curitiba, Brazil; xiv+1058 pp. [updated at (last accessed 10 May 2013)].

Newman, E. 1834. Attempted division of British insects into natural orders. Entomological Magazine 2: 379–431.

Peters, D.S. 1970. Die Stellung von Heriadopsis Cockerell 1931 (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Megachilidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 51(3–4): 199–203.

Roig-Alsina, A. 2006. Hylaeus punctatus (Brullé) (Colletidae), a Palaearctic bee long established in South America. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 15(2): 286–289.

Roig-Alsina, A., & C.D. Michener. 1993. Studies of the phylogeny and classification of long-tongued bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 55(4): 124–162.

Smith, F. 1853. Catalogue of Hymenopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Part I. Andrenidae and Apidae. Taylor and Francis; London, UK; 197 pp., +6 pls.

Smith, F. 1868. Descriptions of aculeate Hymenoptera from Australia. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 16(2): 231–258.

Snelling, R.R. 1983. The North American species of the bee genus Lithurge (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Contributions in Science 343: 1–11.




How to Cite

Gonzalez, V. H., Engel, M. S., & Griswold, T. L. (2013). The lithurgine bees of Australia (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), with a note on Megachile rotundipennis. Journal of Melittology, 11, 1-19.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >>