Diapause in Stingless Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Charles Fernando dos Santos, Patrícia Nunes-Silva, Rosana Halinski, Betina Blochtein


Extreme environmental conditions may negatively affect development animals which present behavior strategies in order survivor them. Insects present a wide range of adaptive behaviors that have allowed them to successfully respond to adverse climatic conditions by temporarily interrupting some of their activities or development. One of these behaviors is diapause. It is a gradual and progressive interruption in development or ontogeny of any organism in some phase of their lifecycle in order to survivor unfavorable environmental conditions that occur cyclically. The objective of this review is to give an overview of the current knowledge about diapause in stingless bees and future perspectives of study. It focuses on Plebeia Schwarz species because this behavior has been observed mainly in these bees. In this group of bees there is a stop in the provisioning and oviposition process in autumn/winter, called reproductive diapause. Besides the stop in brood rearing, other behaviors, as for example foraging, are modified. The mechanisms that induce the reproductive diapause are still unclear, but the evidence points out to the temperature and photoperiodism as the main drivers of this behavior.


Plebeia; provisioning and oviposition process; reproductive diapause; temperature; photoperiodism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i4.369-377


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