Diversity and Temporal Variation in the Orchid Bee Community (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of a Remnant of a Neotropical Seasonal Semi-deciduous Forest
Keywords:Euglossini, Neotropical bee, Orchid bees, seasonal, scent baits.
Multiple biotic and abiotic variables control the composition, diversity, and temporal fluctuations of insect communities. In particular, the assembly of bee communities is strongly influenced by climatic factors as well as variation in food resource availability, which in turn also fluctuates in response to the same factors. The goal of the present study was to investigate the species composition, the species richness and the abundance of the euglossine bees in a remnant of the seasonal semi-deciduous forest of northeastern São Paulo state, and evaluate the temporal variation in those parameters over time. From January to December 1990, males of euglossine bees were sampled using three aromatic baits. We collected 643 males belonging to 12 species and three genera. Euglossa imperialis Cockerell was the most abundant species, followed by Eulaema nigrita Lepeletier and Euglossa melanotricha Moure. The composition and species richness showed temporal variation throughout the year, with the highest values being observed during the rainiest months. Such variations occurred by the presence of males from six species which were sampled only during the rainiest months. Of the five most abundant species, Eg. imperialis and Eg. melanotricha were the only species sampled throughout the year. Only El. nigrita and Eg. melanotricha, had the monthly abundance of males correlated with precipitation. Based on the assumption that male euglossine capture rates reflect actual abundance at the sampled habitats, we believe that Eg. imperialis, usually represented by few male in other studies, has a population very well established in the habitat here studied.
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