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Flowers as sleeping places for male bees: somehow the males know which flowers their females prefer

Pinheiro, Mardiore, Alves-dos-Santos, Isabel, Sazima, Marlies
Arthropod-plant interactions 2017 v.11 no.3 pp. 329-337
Cuphea, Exomalopsis, Sisyrinchium, branches, females, flowering, flowers, males, nectar, nests, pollinators, solitary bees, vegetation
Males of solitary bees usually spend the night out of the nests. In the middle or late afternoon, they stop the patrolling behavior and move on to their sleeping places. Usually, they hang with the mandibles on small branches of the vegetation or stay inside flowers until the next day. We report the sleeping places of males of four Tapinotaspidini species on flowers of six plant species of four families. Flowers of three Iridaceae species were the most sought by males, especially flowers of Sisyrinchium scariosum which show high synchrony between anthesis and activity period of Lanthanomelissa discrepans males. Moreover, S. scariosum flowers are the most visited by females of L. discrepans which are the main pollinators; however, the role of the males as pollinators is unclear. Similar situation is evident for the interaction between males of Arhysoceble picta and Cuphea glutinosa (Lythraceae), where the males take nectar and may act as pollinators, like their females. We believe the plants are indirectly benefited by these interactions through the maintenance of the male populations of the pollinator bee species.