Golden-browed Resin Bee
S11, Female, profile
Golden-browed Resin Bee
S2, Female, Wing Venation
Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Family: Leafcutter Bee (Bee: Megachilidae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons)
This Photo:     S1, Female, Wings
Other name: Red-faced Mastic Bee

Thank you Dr John Ascher for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
These are on the large side for native bees at ~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 amateurs tend to use colour and patterns. This can be misleading. Some can look nearly white and others black. This is because the white ones are young and the black old (the white hairs wear 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 here. As such, you'd think they have a creamy white abdomen. But no, that's the colour of the Dry-land Tea Tree pollen being collected. In another area they could have orange or pink abdomens due to the colour of pollen. Making id very difficult.
Finally, why a "Resin" bee. These belong to the Leafcutter (Megachilidae) family. All species in this family use leaves to line their nests. As you can see here, 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 such, she's a solitary bee, unlike European bees that build hives. It's possible more than one female filled our table holes. But each cell is one female, unlike a hive.

Copyright © 2014-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 18-Feb-2014
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.