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Type: Journal article
Title: Frequency of social nesting in the sweat bee Megalopta genalis (Halictidae) does not vary across a rainfall gradient, despite disparity in brood production and body size
Author: Tierney, S.M.
Fischer, C.N.
Rehan, S.M.
Kapheim, K.M.
Wcislo, W.T.
Citation: Insectes Sociaux, 2013; 60(2):163-172
Publisher: SP Birkhäuser Verlag Basel
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0020-1812
Statement of
S. M. Tierney, C. N. Fischer, S. M. Rehan, K. M. Kapheim, W. T. Wcislo
Abstract: Local environmental conditions can facilitate or preclude the development of eusocial colonies in insects that facultatively express behavioural-caste polyphenism. To explore how environmental variability relates to the expression of social behaviour, we collected 120 nests of the facultatively social sweat bee, Megalopta genalis (Halictidae: Augochlorini), along a nearly twofold rainfall gradient in central Panama. Brood rearing activity of bees in seasonal neotropical forests should track flowering phenologies, which are typically set by rainfall and phylogenetic patterns. Nests were collected at roughly similar times of year from three sites comprising wet, moist and dry lowland tropical forests. There were significant differences in ovarian development, brood production and body size across sites for some comparisons, but no effect on the proportion of social colonies collected at each site. Results show that phenotypes of M. genalis relevant to social behaviour (ovarian development, brood production, body size) may be responsive to variation in local environment over distances of <20 km.
Keywords: Social evolution; Seasonality; Rainfall gradient; Eusocial behaviour; Augochlorini
Rights: © International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) 2013
DOI: 10.1007/s00040-012-0280-4
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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