Megachile pluto 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Hymenoptera Megachilidae

Scientific Name: Megachile pluto Smith, 1860
Common Name(s):
English Wallace's Giant Bee
Chalcidoma pluto (Smith, 1860)
Chalicodoma pluto (Smith, 1860)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-12-11
Assessor(s): Kuhlmann, M.
Reviewer(s): Gerlach, J.
The species is assessed as Vulnerable due to its restricted range and the degradation of habitats within that range (due to mining and to the impacts of invasive plant species). Very little is known about the details of its distribution and habitat requirements. Although available information suggests that M. pluto is generally rare and might be restricted to primary lowland forests of the Northern Moluccas, it might be able to survive in other habitats as well as long as nesting sites and host plants are present. Further research is required to enable conservation action of this iconic bee species.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Megachile pluto is only known from three islands of the North Moluccas in Indonesia: Bacan, Halmahera and Tidore (Messer 1984).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:19700
Number of Locations:3
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no data on possible population sizes.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Megachile pluto has only been found in primary lowland forest. The species nests communally and apparently only in inhabited nests of the tree-dwelling termite Microcerotermes amboinensi Kemner (Termitidae). The association of the bee with the termite possibly is an obligate one. For nest construction, resin of a primary forest dipterocarp tree is used, probably Anisoptera thurifera Blanco (Bl.). Resin is collected from fissures of the trunk. The species collects pollen from a wide range of different plant species (polylectic) but seems to have a preference for Myrtaceae. Although appropriate nesting sites and host plants for resin and pollen collecting were abundant M. pluto is apparently rare at the places where it has been found. All information summarised here is based on observations of Messer (1984).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although no concrete information is available of threats directly acting on this bee, the habitat of the recorded range is being degraded by disturbance and invasive plant species. The most significant threats are likely to be the anthropogenic loss and degradation of habitat (primary lowland forests), nesting sites and host plants, through mining and quarrying.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

No conservation actions have been taken for this species. It is recommended to conserve suitable habitats, nesting sites (nests of the termite Microcerotermes amboinensis) within primary lowland forests and the host plants of this species for resin (dipterocarp tree Anisoptera thurifera) and pollen collection. Further research is required to establish the current status of the species throughout its range and to identify the existing threats.

Citation: Kuhlmann, M. 2014. Megachile pluto. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T4410A21426160. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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