Brazilian Journal of Biology
Print version ISSN 1519-6984
HILARIO, S. D. and IMPERATRIZ-FONSECA, V. L.. Thermal evidence of the invasion of a stingless bee nest by a mammal. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2003, vol.63, n.3, pp. 457-462. ISSN 1519-6984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842003000300011.
Melipona bicolor, an inhabitant of the Atlantic Rainforest, nidifies in hollows of live or dead trees. In order to study thermoregulation of a nest of this species, a temperature data logger was installed inside a hollow tree. After this, an intruder dug a hole, invaded the nest, and probably consumed its honey, pollen and bees, having remained there during three days. Thermal evidence and its behavior allowed the delimitation of a small number of suspects, wich we analized here. The intruder was a small mammal, predominantly nocturnal, that takes shelter in burrows, probably the yellow armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus). Other evidence, if collected immediately after invasion, could precisely indicate precisely the species.
Keywords : temperature; thermoregulation; stingless bees; mammal; heat production.