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DOREA, Marcos da C; SANTOS, Francisco de A R dos; LIMA, Luciene C de L E and FIGUEROA, Luís E R. Pollen analysis of the post-emergence residue of Centris tarsata Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Centridini) nests. Neotrop. entomol. [online]. 2009, vol.38, n.2, pp. 197-202. ISSN 1519-566X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-566X2009000200005.
A new treatment protocol was developed to analyze pollen residues found in nests of Centris tarsata Smith harvested from nest-traps. The study area was located in the Canudos Biological Station in the municipality of Canudos (09º56'34"S; 38º59'17"W), in the northeastern micro-region of Bahia State, Brazil. The local vegetation is an open caatinga (deciduous dryland vegetation), the regional climate is semi-arid, the average annual temperature is 24.1ºC, and the annual regional rainfall rate is 454 mm. Ten nests of C. tarsata were collected in trap-nests during the first semester of 2004. Pollen analysis from the nests required the development of a new methodology that combined techniques of palynological sediment analysis with the more common pollinic analysis by acetolysis. Microscopic analyses employed optical microscopy techniques. The pollinic spectrum of the samples from C. tarsata indicated the presence of 17 pollen types from seven plant families, which were present in assemblage of five to eleven pollen types, pointed to the plants used by bees to feed on their offspring. The most represented plant families were Leguminosae (49.3%) and Solanaceae (43.2%). The most frequent pollen types in the samples were from Solanum paniculatum (43.8%) and Senna rizzini (32.1%). The protocol developed provides a new tool for diet assessment of Centris and other groups of solitary bees.
Keywords : Entomopalynology; trap-nest; solitary bee; palynology.