Plasticity of stingless bee Melipona fuliginosa Lepeletier to obtain food resources in Amazonia
Keywords:stingless bee, Meliponini, cleptobiosis, Amazon, Carajás, Xingu.
The stingless bee Melipona fuliginosa Lepeletier is described as being aggressive robber, but there is little information about its raids. Here, we describe two different raids of M. fuliginosa on other Melipona species: Melipona paraensis Ducke and Melipona fasciculata Smith. The robbing behavior was observed in the Volta Grande do Xingu region (Pará) and Carajás National Forest (Pará), and the attacks by M. fuliginosa occurred at the end of the dry season, shortly before the start of the rainy season, a time of flower scarcity. The raid on M. paraensis hive lasted five days and involved no deaths of worker bees of both species; the robbers collected honey and wax. During the pillaging, M. fuliginosa workers dedicated themselves exclusively to this task; their flight activity peaked between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. but lasted until 6:00 p.m, which is atypical for the species. The raid on M. fasciculata differed from the other event because it led to the extermination of all forager workers of fi ve colonies, however, the brood combs as well as the callow workers were preserved; the robbers collected honey and wax. M. fuliginosa attack defensive and non-defensive colonies, the events can cause severe damage and may lead to death of the victim colony in natural conditions. Flight activity varies from foraging on fl owers during dawn to all day long robbing, showing considerable plasticity to obtain food resources. Robbing behavior could be associated to fl ower scarcity and artificial feeding.
Alvares, C.A., Stape, J.L., Sentelhas, P.C., De Moraes Gonçalves, J.L. & Sparovek, G. (2013). Köppen’s climate classifi cation map for Brazil. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 22:711-728. doi: 10.1127/0941-2948/2013/0507
Breed, M.D., Cook, C. & Krasnec, M.O. (2012). Cleptobiosis in social insects. Psyche, 2012: 1-7. doi: 10.1155/2012/484765
Camargo, J.M.F. & Pedro, S.R.M. (2013). Meliponini Lepeletier, 1836. In J.S. Moure, D. Urban & G.A.R. Melo (Eds.), Catalogue of Bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) in the Neotropical Region - Online Version.
Camargo, J.M.F. & Pedro, S.R.M. (2008). Revisão das espécies de Melipona do grupo fuliginosa (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Apidae, Meliponini). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia, 52:411-427. doi: 10.1590/S0085-56262008000300014
Cortopassi-Laurino, M., Imperatriz-Fonseca, V.L., Roubik, D.W., Dollin, A., Heard, T., Aguilar, I., Venturieri, G.C., Eardley, C. & Nogueira-Neto, P. (2006). Global meliponiculture: challenges and opportunities. Apidologie, 37: 275-292.
Cortopassi-Laurino, M., Velthuis, H.H.W. & Nogueira-neto, P. (2007). Diversity of stingless bees from the Amazon forest in Xapuri (Acre), Brazil. Proceedings of Netherlands Entomological Society, 18: 105-114.
Cunningham, J.P., Hereward, J.P., Heard, T.A., De Barro, P.J. & West, S.A. (2014). Bees at War: Interspecifi c Battles and Nest Usurpation in Stingless Bees. American Naturalist, 184:777-786. doi: 10.1086/678399
Gloag, R., Heard, T.A., Beekman, M. & Oldroyd, B.P. (2008). Nest defence in a stingless bee: What causes fi ghting swarms in Trigona carbonaria (Hymenoptera, Meliponini)? Insectes Sociaux, 55: 387-391. doi: 10.1007/s00040-008-1018-1
Grüter, C., von Zuben, L.G., Segers, F.H.I.D. & Cunningham, J.P. (2016). Warfare in stingless bees. Insectes Sociaux, 63: 223-236. doi: 10.1007/s00040-016-0468-0
Marques-Souza, A.C., Moura, C.O. & Nelson, B.W. (1996). Pollen collected by Trigona williana (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Central Amazonia. Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44: 567-573.
Marques-Souza, A.C., Absy, M.L. & Kerr, W.E. (2007). Pollen harvest features of the Central Amazonian beeScaptotrigona fulvicutis Moure 1964 (Apidae: Meliponinae), in Brazil. Acta Botanica Brasilica, 21:11-20.
Michener, C.D. (2007). The bees of the world. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Michener, C.D. (2013). The Meliponini. In P. Vit, S.R.M. Pedro & D.W. Roubik (Eds.), Pot-Honey. A Legacy of Stingless Bees (pp. 3-17). Springer Science. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-4960-7_1
Nates-Parra, G. (1995). Las abejas sin aguijon del genero Melipona en Colombia. Boletín del Museo de Entomologia de la Universidad del Valle, 3: 21-33.
Nogueira-Neto, P. (1997). Vida e Criação de Abelhas Indígenas Sem Ferrão. São Paulo: Editora Nogueirapis.
Quezada-Euán, J.J.G., Ramírez, J., Eltz, T., Pokorny, T.,Medina, R. & Monsreal, R. (2013). Does sensory deception matter in eusocial obligate food robber systems? A study of Lestrimelitta and stingless bee hosts. Animal Behaviour, 85:817-823. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.01.028
Ramírez, S.R., Nieh, J.C., Quental, T.B., Roubik, D.W., Imperatriz-Fonseca, V.L. & Pierce, N.E. (2010). A molecular phylogeny of the stingless bee genus Melipona (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 56: 519-525. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.04.026
Roubik, D.W. (1981). A Natural Mixed Colony of Melipona (Hymenoptera : Apidae). Journal of Kansas Entomological Society, 54: 263-268.
Roubik, D.W. (1989). Ecology and natural history of tropical bees. New York: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1016/0169-5347(90)90188-J
Roubik, D.W. (2006). Stingless bee nesting biology. Apidologie, 37: 124-143. doi: 10.1051/apido:2006026
RStudio Team (2016). RStudio: Integrated Development for R. Sakagami, S.F., Roubik, D.W. & Zucchi, R. (1993). Ethology of the robber stingless bee, Lestrimellitta limao (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Sociobiology, 21: 237-277.
Salomão, R.D.P., Vieira, I.C.G., Suemitsu, C., Rosa, N.D.A., Almeida, S.S., Amaral, D.D. & Menezes, M.P.M. (2007). As fl orestas de Belo Monte na grande curva do rio Xingu, Amazônia Oriental. Boletim do Museu de Ciências Paraense Emilio Goeldi. Ciências Naturais, 2: 57-153.
Venturieri, G.C. (2004). Meliponicultura I: Caixa Racional de Criação. Comunicado Técnico - Embrapa 123: 1-3.
Venturieri, G.C., Alves, D.A., Menezes, C., Vollet-Neto, A., Contrera, F.A.L., Cortopassi-Laurino, M., Nogueira-Neto,P. & Imperatriz-Fonseca, V.L. (2012). Meliponicultura no Brasil: Situação Atual e Perspectivas Futuras para o Uso na Polinização Agrícola. In V.L., Imperatriz-Fonseca, D.A.L.
Canhos, D.A., Alves & A.M., Saraiva (Eds.), Polinizadores do Brasil (pp. 213-236). São Paulo: EDUSP.
Zappi, D. (2017). Paisagens e Plantas de Carajás, 1° ed. Belém: Instituto Tecnológico Vale (ITV).
How to Cite
Sociobiology is a diamond open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).