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Revista Brasileira de Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0101-8175

Rev. Bras. Zool. vol.17 no.1 Curitiba Mar. 2000

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752000000100016 

Adaptive behavior of Scotocryptus melitophilus Reitter (Coleoptera, Leiodidae) to live with its host Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

 

 

José Maurício Dias Bezerra; Rui Carlos PeruquettiI; Warwick Estevam KerrII

ILaboratório de Genética Bioquímica, Departamento de Genética e Evolução, Universidade Federal de São Carlos. Caixa Postal 676, 13565-905 São Carlos, São Paulo, Brasil. E-mail: prcp@iris.ufscar.br
IIDepartamento de Genética e Bioquimica, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia. Bloco 2E, Sala 20, Campus Umuarama, 38400-902 Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brasil. E-mail: warwick@umuarama.com.br

Correspondence address

 

 


ABSTRACT

Forty six beetles Scotocryptus melitophilus Reitter, 1881 collected in a nest of Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier, 1836 were studied. All beetles were put together in a large petri dish with 14 males, 14 virgin queens and 14 workers of M. quadrifasciata, which was not aggressive towards the S. melitophilus and flew with 3 to 10 beetles attached to them. When groups of 20 workers, 20 males and 20 virgin queens were put separately in three petri dishes, the workers become attractive to beetles after they were seven days old, while the males after the 19 days old. Only one virgin queen five days old attracted one beetle. The anatomic parts of the workers bees more attractive to the beetles when smeared to a filter paper were the head (32%), abdomen (29%) and legs (29%). The part of the workers bees that less attracted the beetles was the thorax (10%). 5. melitophilus, both males and females, are able to distinguish caste, sex and age differences of their host M. quadrifasciata, what can increase the adaptive value of the beetles involved in phoretic behavior.

Key words: Scotocryptus, Melipona, adaptive behavior, phoresy, caste.


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank Dr. Lucio A. O. Campos that allowed this work to be carried out with his colonies of stingless bees in the Universidade Federal de Vicosa. Dra. Cleide Costa (Museu de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo) helped in identifying the beetles. Dr. CD. Michener, Dr. D.W. Roubik and two anonymous reviewers gave us competent suggestions. This work was supported by Universidade Federal de Vicosa and grants of Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq) and Fundacao de Apoio a Pesquisa de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG). The first author had a fellowship of Fundacao de Apoio a Pesquisa do Estado do Maranhao (FAPEMA).

 

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Recebido em 29.IV.1999; aceito em 08.II.2000.

 

 

Correspondence address:
José Maurício Dias Bezerra
Departamento de Química e Biologia, Universidade Estadual do Maranhão
Cidade Universitária Paulo VI
Caixa Postal 09, 65000-000
São Luís, Maranhão, Brasil
E-mail: maubez@triang.com.br