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3164Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Euglossine in an ant nest

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  • Doug Yanega
    Feb 5, 2014
      On 2/5/14 12:45 PM, Howlett, Anita wrote:

      Regarding the Euglossine bee behavior filmed… I forwarded the link to a biologist/ant specialist friend in Germany who had this to say:

      Hi Anita ,

      This behavior is entirely new to me. Even in connection with orchids I did not know it so far and what this pretty bee is doing there, is a mystery to me.

      What I did notice however, is that the nest entrance is rather untypical large for such a small species of ant. Also, very little (ant) activity is seen whereas ants generally react very sensitive to air movements. The penetration of the bee would also alert more than three workers. Would it be possible that the bee sits in front of her own nest and for temperature regulation extensively fans with the wings while ants have unfortunately already discovered this potential food source for themselves?

      This is not likely, since the bee is a male, and male euglossines do not return to their natal nests after eclosion. Also, the leg movements are stereotypical for male euglossines when they are gathering aromatic compounds. Accordingly, the simple explanation is that this cavity (whether it is an ant nest or not) was producing an odor (probably a terpenoid) that attracted this male to investigate, and he was trying to gather chemicals.

      Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
      Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
      phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
        "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
              is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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