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The Size But not the Symmetry of the Wings of Eulaema nigrita Lepeletier (Apidae: Euglossini) is Affected by Human-Disturbed Landscapes in the Brazilian Cerrado Savanna

Pinto, N S, Silva, D P, Rodrigues, J G, De Marco, P, Jr
Neotropical entomology 2015 v.44 no.5 pp. 439-447
Eulaema, adulthood, cerrado, feeding behavior, habitat destruction, immatures, landscapes, males, mortality, pesticides, savannas, wings, Brazil
Among other human-related activities, habitat loss and fragmentation are currently ranked as the most important environmental features affecting the persistence of animal and plant populations in landscapes, as well as the maintenance of ecological processes and services. Since these processes are also capable of affecting the ontogenetic development of species inhabiting those landscapes, here we measured the wing veins of male Eulaema nigrita Lepeletier (Apidae: Euglossini) bees in order to evaluate whether the bees sampled in agriculture (AG) areas suffer higher fluctuating asymmetry (FA) than those sampled in Cerrado (CE) areas in the Brazilian state of Goiás. We believe that individuals sampled in CE areas would be less asymmetric than those sampled in AG areas, given a potential higher exposure of these specimens to environmental stresses (mostly pesticides). However, we did not observe a significant trend in the FA measures we obtained, although three wing measures were bigger for bees from CE areas. The lack of significant effects of FA may be related to inherent bionomic features of E. nigrita. For instance, given their high individual dispersal abilities, the individuals we analyzed may have developed in different areas than those where they were sampled. Their generalist feeding behavior may also have given them a higher resistance to environmental perturbations, buffering the normal development of immatures even in areas with local high environmental stress. Nonetheless, higher death rates of individuals from anthropic areas may also have killed the developing immatures of E. nigrita before they reached adulthood consequently equalizing our sampled estimates.