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Nesting biology of three Megachile (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) species from Eastern Amazonia, Brazil

Marinho, Diego, Muniz, David B., Azevedo, Gisele G.
Revista Brasileira de entomologia 2018 v.62 no.2 pp. 97-106
Asteraceae, Attalea, Brachymeria, Coelioxys, Megachile, Meloidae, Pyralidae, biodiversity, forests, males, mites, multivoltine habit, nesting, parasites, pollen, population size, sex ratio, solitary bees, univoltine habit, Amazonia, Brazil
Megachile Latreille is a conspicuous genus of solitary bees distributed worldwide. However, the biology of tropical species is still little known. We present data on biology of Megachile brasiliensis Data Torre, Megachile sejuncta Cockerell and Megachile stilbonotaspis Moure found in two remnants of eastern Amazonian forest in northeastern Brazil. The study was conducted using the trap-nest methodology in two different areas during four periods. We collected a total of 24 nests of M. brasiliensis, 26 of M. sejuncta and 28 of M. stilbonotaspis. The differential abundance of collected nests may reflect the population size in each sampled place. The nesting activity was concentrated mainly between July and January and species presented a multivoltine pattern, except for M. sejuncta, which was partly univoltine. Assessed pollen use showed a predominant use of Attalea sp. (Arecaceae) and, for M. stilbonotaspis, Tylesia sp. and Lepidaploa sp. (Asteraceae). Babassu is a very common palm in the studied areas and the studied species seem to have a strong link with it. We also reported change of pollen use by M. sejuncta, probably due to competition with M. brasiliensis, which may have influenced the biased sex ratio observed in M. sejuncta toward males. Parasites reported here were also recorded for other Megachile species, such as Coelioxys, Brachymeria, Meloidae and Pyralidae species. Mites were observed in association with M. stilbonotaspis. The data presented here set up a background that encourages new studies on the ecology of these three Amazonian species, providing tools for proper biodiversity management and conservation.