Open main menu

Meganomiinae is a subfamily of melittid bees, with 10 species in four genera, found only in Africa, primarily in xeric habitats, with the distributional limits in Yemen and Madagascar.[1] They are rather different in appearance from the other groups of past/present melittids, being large bees (10–22 mm), mostly black with strong yellow markings, resembling anthidiine megachilids.[1] Males of this subfamily are known to have hidden sterna.[2]

Meganomia gigas 01.jpg
Meganomia gigas
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Clade: Anthophila
Family: Melittidae
Subfamily: Meganomiinae



Initial molecular work suggested that the family Melittidae was paraphyletic, and that its subfamilies (including Meganomiinae) should therefore be elevated to family status.[3][4] However, these studies included very few melittids, due to their rarity. A 2013 investigation included a greater number of melittid bees and concluded that the family was probably monophyletic, thus supporting Meganomiinae as a subfamily of Melittidae.[5]


  1. ^ a b Michez, Denis (2008). "Monographic revision of the melittid bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Melittidae sensu lato)" (PDF). Proceedings of the Netherlands Entomological Society Meeting. 19: 32.
  2. ^ Michez, D., Eardley, C.D., Timmermann, K., Danforth, B.N. (2010). "Unexpected Polylecty in the Bee Genus Meganomia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea; Melittidae)". Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 83 (3): 222–. doi:10.2317/JKES0911.20.1.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Danforth, B.N., Sipes, S., Fang, J., Brady, S.G. (2006). "The history of early bee diversification based on five genes plus morphology". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (41): 15118–15123. doi:10.1073/pnas.0604033103. PMC 1586180. PMID 17015826.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Danforth, Bryan (2007). "Bees-a primer" (PDF). Current Biology. 17 (5): 156–161. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.025. PMID 17339010.
  5. ^ Hedtke, Shannon H. (2013). "The bee tree of life: a supermatrix approach to apoid phylogeny and biogeography". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 13 (138): 138. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-138. PMC 3706286. PMID 23822725.