The Black Mud Bee (Megachile parietina) is an insect in the mason bee family. It is a pollinator.
The Black Mud Bee is small, black, and shiny. It has a narrow, cylindrical body with a large head. It has black legs and black antennae.
It grows to about 1 centimetre (between half an inch and one inch) long.
It is native to central and eastern Europe. It prefers gardens, heathlands, and downlands.
It is an oligolectic pollinator, which means that it collects pollen from a limited range of flowers. The female collects pollen under her abdomen (not on her legs like most other bees).
It is a solitary bee, and does not live in hives or swarms.
The female builds a nest attached to a wall or rock surface. She lays eggs in the cells within the nest. The eggs hatch into larvae. After moulting a few times, the larva spins a cocoon and pupates. It metamorphoses into an adult bee.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM