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broad-banded leafcutter bee

broad-banded leafcutter bee (Megachile latimanus)
Photo © Rob Curtis, The Early Birder

Features and Behaviors

This species has a stocky, black body that is covered with pale-yellow and black hairs. The pollen-collecting hairs on leafcutting bees are on the underside of the abdomen, not on the legs, as is the case in most other bees. Like all bees, they have a thick body with the division between the thorax and abdomen easily seen, four wings, hairs, stocky legs, long antennae and eyes on the side of the head.

This species is a common bee active between April through September in dry areas of prairies, grasslands and farm fields. Leafcutter bees paper their nest with pieces of leaves. These are solitary bees with huge jaws that nest in wood or other cavities.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Megachilidae

Illinois Status: common, native