Geographic Distribution, Key Challenges and Prospects for the Conservation of Threatened Stingless Bee Melipona capixaba Moure e Camargo (Hymenoptera: Apidae)


  • Helder Canto Resende Universidade Federal de Viçosa - Campus UFV Florestal
  • Tânia M. Fernandes-Salomão Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil
  • M. G. Tavares Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil
  • Lúcio A. O. Campos Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil



Meliponini, Endangered Species, Atlantic Forest, Restricted Distribution, Mountain Habitats


The stingless bee Melipona capixaba Moure and Camargo, 1994 is endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Its occurrence is restricted to highlands in the Espírito Santo State, and it has possibly the smallest known geographic distribution among the cataloged stingless bees. It is therefore considered to be an endangered species. Perhaps because of its small area of occurrence, or because it was only identified two decades ago, little is known about the biology of this species, its current geographic distribution, or its actual preservation status. Here, we present the results from the largest sampling of M. capixaba conducted in its natural habitat. We developed a distribution map by using a geographic information system. Our data indicate that M. capixaba is found in the municipalities of Espírito Santo State at altitudes between 800 m and 1,200 m; with annual average temperatures around 18–23°C; precipitation more than 1,200 mm per year; and vegetation cover-type Mountain Dense Ombrophylous Forest, restricted to an area of approximately 3,450 km2. We observed colonies both in their natural habitat and under conditions of ex situ maintenance, and identified the key challenges and prospects for the conservation of this endangered bee.

Author Biography

Helder Canto Resende, Universidade Federal de Viçosa - Campus UFV Florestal

Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde

Laboratório de Genética e Conservação da Biodiversidade

Genética evolutiva, manejo e conservação de abelhas


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How to Cite

Resende, H. C., Fernandes-Salomão, T. M., Tavares, M. G., & Campos, L. A. O. (2014). Geographic Distribution, Key Challenges and Prospects for the Conservation of Threatened Stingless Bee Melipona capixaba Moure e Camargo (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Sociobiology, 61(4), 529–535.



Research Article - Bees