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Nesting biology and behavioural ecology of the solitary bee Monoeca haemorrhoidalis (Smith) and its cleptoparasite Protosiris gigas Melo (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Tapinotaspidini; Osirini)

da Rocha-Filho, Léo Correia, Melo, Gabriel A.R.
Journal of natural history 2011 v.45 no.45-46 pp. 2815-2840
Apidae, Malpighiaceae, Orchidaceae, Styracaceae, brood cells, mortality, natural enemies, nesting, nesting sites, oils, pollen, rain forests, solitary bees, Brazil
The species Monoeca haemorrhoidalis, the largest species in the genus, occurs in the Atlantic rainforest of southeastern and southern Brazil. The aim of this study was to investigate the nesting ecology of M. haemorrhoidalis and its interactions with natural enemies. Nest aggregations were studied in an area at the transition between Dense and Mixed Temperate Rainforest, south Brazil. The period of nest construction and cell provisioning started in October and stopped in February. Plant species of the families Orchidaceae, Styracaceae and, mainly, Malpighiaceae, were the most important pollen and floral oil resources that were used in brood cell provisioning. During the nest construction activities, 27 insect species were observed at the nesting sites. The cleptoparasitic bee Protosiris gigas was one of the main causes of M. haemorrhoidalis mortality. Some behavioural and biological data of P. gigas are also reported.