Thermal evidence of the invasion of a stingless bee nest by a mammal

Evidência térmica da invasão de um ninho de abelhas sem ferrão por um mamífero

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.

temperature; thermoregulation; stingless bees; mammal; heat production

Instituto Internacional de Ecologia R. Bento Carlos, 750, 13560-660 São Carlos SP - Brasil, Tel. e Fax: (55 16) 3362-5400 - São Carlos - SP - Brazil