A scientific note on the presence of functional tibia for pollen transportation in the robber bee Lestrimelitta limao Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini)

Lucas Garcia von Zuben, Túlio Marcos Nunes


Stingless bees belonging to the Lestrimelitta genus shows a unique foraging ecology for the group. Instead of collecting food from flowers, these bees steal their food from other stingless bees’ hives. Associated with this ecological feature there are morphological characteristics such as the modification of the corbicula. The highly modified corbicula is considered not functional in this specie. However, observations of the pillaging attacks under controlled environment allowed us to verify workers carrying pollen at the corbicula. This observation contradicts the current assumption that robber bees’ corbicula have lost their function as a result of the cleptoparasitic behaviour.


Meliponini; Cleptoparasitism, corbicula

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i4.570-572


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