The Life Histories of the "Uruçu Amarela" Males (Melipona flavolineata, Apidae, Meliponini)
Keywords:Congregation sites, stingless bees, sterile males, dimorphism
Here we describe the life histories of adult males of the the Amazonian stingless bee Melipona flavolineata Friese, commonly known as “uruçu amarela”. Males reach sexual maturity inside nests, presenting seminal vesicles full of sperm cells and becoming able to fl y at a mean age of 10 and 15 days, respectively. They aggregate twice in their lives, once before leaving the nest, and another at external congregation sites, by using their capacity to reach congregation sites dependent on morphological attributes, such as large eyes and elongated thorax. Furthermore, we describe three atypical phenomena for Meliponini males: M. fl avolineata males have dimorphic color pattern; they lose their genital capsules, even when they fail to copulate; and penisless (sterile) males can stay alive for up to two days. The life history strategies of Meliponini males have only just started to be told and provide many interesting questions for future studies.
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