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Volume 39, Number 1, January-February 2008
Insights into Bee Evolution: A Tribute to Charles D. Michener
Page(s) 102 - 118
Published online 25 January 2008
Apidologie 39 (2008) 102-118
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007051

A molecular phylogeny and the evolution of nest architecture and behavior in Trigona s.s. (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini)

Claus Rasmussen1 and João M.F. Camargo2

1  Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, 320 Morrill Hall, 505 S. Goodwin Ave. Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2  Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto-SP, Brazil

(Received 29 June 2007 - Revised 28 October 2007 - Accepted 1 November 2007 - Published online 25 January 2008)

Abstract - Stingless bees exhibit extraordinary variation in nest architecture within and among species. To test for phylogenetic association of behavioral traits for species of the Neotropical stingless bee genus Trigona s.s., a phylogenetic hypothesis was generated by combining sequence data of 24 taxa from one mitochondrial (16S rRNA) and four nuclear gene fragments (long-wavelength rhodopsin copy 1 (opsin), elongation factor-1$\alpha$ copy F2, arginine kinase, and 28S rRNA). Fifteen characteristics of the nest architecture were coded and tested for phylogenetic association. Several characters have significant phylogenetic signal, including type of nesting substrate, nest construction material, and hemipterophily, the tending of hemipteroid insects in exchange for sugar excretions. Phylogenetic independent habits encountered in Trigona s.s. include coprophily and necrophagy.

Key words: molecular phylogeny / neotropical / stingless bee / behavior / nest

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008