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Natural History of Tetrapedia diversipes (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in an Atlantic Semideciduous Forest Remnant Surrounded by Coffee Crops, Coffea arabica (Rubiaceae)

Rocha-Filho, L. C., Garófalo, C. A.
Annals of the Entomological Society of America 2016 v.109 no.2 pp. 183-197
Apidae, Bombyliidae, Coffea arabica, Meloidae, anthrax, bamboos, bees, canes, cardboard, cold, crops, diapause, dry season, females, flowering, forests, habitat fragmentation, habitats, indigenous species, introduced plants, multivoltine habit, natural enemies, natural history, nesting, phenology, pollen, pollen analysis, pollinators, prepupae, trees, wet season, Brazil
Exotic plants can alter habitat composition and reduce the diversity of pollinators by competing with native species for resources. In a forest fragment surrounded by coffee crops, Coffea arabica L. (Rubiaceae), in southeastern Brazil, the life history of the oil-collecting bee Tetrapedia diversipes Klug (Apidae) was studied. Besides providing data on the phenology, nesting biology, and natural enemies of this bee species, we aimed to investigate if the intense mass flowering of coffee trees would attract T. diversipes specimens rather than native plants in bloom. As T. diversipes females nest in preexisting cavities, we displayed in the study site two types of trap-nests: bamboo canes and 5.8- by 0.6-cm black cardboard tubes. The trap-nests were inspected once a month from June 2011 to May 2013 and 494 nests were collected. Tetrapedia diversipes is a multivoltine species. Prepupal diapause occurred in nests collected at the end of the hot and wet season and during the cold and dry season. Nests were attacked by 14 species of natural enemies, and the most abundant species were the cuckoo bee Coelioxoides waltheriae Ducke (Apidae); the bee fly Anthrax oedipus F. (Bombyliidae); and the beetle Nemognatha cf. plaumanni Borchmann (Meloidae). Despite the mass flowering of coffee trees, pollen grains of C. arabica were not found in the pollen analysis. Our study reveals that even in the presence of an abundant source of floral resources of exotic origin, the studied population of T. diversipes preferred to use the native plant species to obtain the necessary resources for their survival.