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The role of Mimosa L. (Fabaceae) on pollen provision of Melipona asilvai Moure 1971 in a Caatinga area from Brazil

Silva, Ana Paula Conceição, Alves, Rogério Marcos de Oliveira, Dos Santos, Francisco de Assis Ribeiro
Grana 2018 v.57 no.4 pp. 311-321
Angelonia, Chamaecrista, Melastomataceae, Melipona, Mimosa tenuiflora, Myrcia, Solanum paniculatum, Spermacoce, bees, caatinga, flora, pollen, Brazil
The pollen spectrum of Melipona asilvai pollen samples, collected over the course of two years, was analysed with the objective of inferring the flora visited by this bee in a region of Caatinga in Bahia, Brazil. This study also evaluated the role of Mimosa species as a source of resources used by Melipona asilvai. Forty-eight pollen types, distributed in 22 families, were morphologically distinguished. The family Fabaceae was notable in the pollen spectrum, with 14 identified types. Mimosa was the most representative and found in all samples analysed, sometimes with high frequency. Mimosa tenuiflora had a 91.5% frequency of occurrence in the sample set and greatly contributed to the monthly samples with percentages over 95% in four of the months analysed. The other Mimosa pollen types identified were M. arenosa, M. quadrivalvis, M. misera and M. pudica. In addition, the Angelonia (Plantaginaceae) type in three samples and the Chamaecrista racemosa (Fabaceae) type in one sample had frequencies over 50% in the pollen spectrum. Other very frequent types in the sample set, occurring in more than 50% of the samples analysed, were the following: Melastomataceae, Solanum paniculatum (Solanaceae), Borreria verticillata (Rubiaceae) and Myrcia (Myrtaceae). Despite the variety of floral sources recorded, it was possible to identify the floral preference of this bee as Mimosa, indicating the importance of Mimosa species as a source of resources used by this bee.