In euglossine we trust as ecological indicators: a reply to Añino et al. (2019)

Rodrigo Barbosa Gonçalves, Luiz Roberto Ribeiro Faria


Orchid bees have been considered as good ecological indicators of habitat disturbances but recently Añino et al. (2019. Sociobiology, 66: 194-197) highlighted reasons why Euglossini role as indicators should be reevaluated. Despite agreeing with some points raised by them, we present an alternative view for the use of orchid bees as indicators. For us, the main problematic issues are: (i) the authors do not present a clear definition of ecological indicator, including its role as an indirect measure of biota response to disturbed environments; (ii) they do not properly acknowledge the relative good taxonomic status of orchid bees when compared with the remaining bees; (iii) and they do not distinguish the use of particular Euglossini species as indicators in certain circumstances. In spite of some knowledge gaps, we argue that Euglossini is a good candidate to be ecological indicators in tropical forests, maybe the best candidate among all the bees.


bioindicator, fragmentation, pollinator, neotropics, wild bees

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