Australian Native Bee ID, Tips, and More: Megachile maculariformis vs Megachile chrysopyga (With notes on similar species)

I am starting this journal to spread information concerning Australian native bees faster.

The debate concerning the identification of Megachile maculariformis versus Megachile chrysopyga has been an ongoing issue on this site for some time now, only recently corrected. Nevertheless, I feel it is important that the Australian native bee enthusiast is aware of the differences between the two.

Firstly, this is the most simple way to ID the two. If you are in Western Australia, only M. chrysopyga is present. If you are in the ACT, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, or Queensland, only M. maculariformis is present. If you are in South Australia both species are present, but as M. chrysopyga is only present in the far west of the state you are extremely unlikely to encounter it. If you do, here are some characteristics to tell between the two.

1) The female M. chrysopyga only has two complete white hair bands across the abdomen, positioned closest to the thorax, whereas M. maculariformis has four. *Note: Rule is only reliable for females (although generally works for males)!
2) Males both have expanded forelegs, however in M. maculariformis, there is a bulbous orange projection on it (
Attached are some males I've seen.

Now some quick notes on species I see frequently misidentified for these species:

Megachile aurifrons:
How to tell it apart:
Red eyes, tip of abdomen never orange, two or three complete white hair bands, abdomen not triangular.

Megachile erythropyga:
How to tell it apart:
Two incomplete white hair bands, abdomen not triangular.

Other Eutricharaea:
How to tell them apart:
No bright orange (I mean bright) tip to abdomen or face.

I hope this helps. I may edit later if I have missed anything.
Happy bee-hunting!

Publicado el 07 de marzo de 2024 a las 07:17 AM por asaph01 asaph01


Fotos / Sonidos




Noviembre 2023


Male hence expanded foreleg and ID. Was so psyched to find it! Almost as good as a female M. aurifrons, which continues to elude me…

Fotos / Sonidos




Enero 2024


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