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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

S. D. Hilário V. L. Imperatriz-Fonseca About the authors

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