Within the bee family Halictidae there have been three origins of sociality. Although detection of origins and reversal from sociality requires phylogenetic studies, at a behavioural level a predisposition to sociality can be detected by analysis of intra-specific interactions. We studied aspects of nesting biology and behavioural interactions in Lasioglossum (Lasioglossum) majus, a poorly known halictine inhabiting temperate regions of Europe, which is suspected to be solitary. Nests were found to be largely used by one female, but some were shared by more than one individual. These few nests, whose entrances were very close to each other, were found to be connected underground. A few individuals were observed to enter in a nest where a female was waiting, behaving as a guard and allowing the incoming bee to enter the nest. By use of circle-tube experiments, the behavioural repertoire exhibited by females during encounters was assessed. Levels of withdrawal and cooperative events were comparable with those observed in other solitary nesting species, but aggressive events were very rare, as in several observed communal species. We conclude that L. (L.) majus females, despite general solitary nesting, possess behavioural components enabling them to adopt, probably in high nestdensity areas, nest-sharing strategies. A similar kind of local social polymorphism has been observed in two other species of the subgenus Lasioglossum, but these are the first data available on a European species and the first record of subterranean connections among nests of halictid bees.

Biology of Lasioglossum (L.) majus (Hymenoptera: Halictidae), a largely solitary sweat bee with behavioural adaptations to communality / R. Boesi, C. Polidori, F. Andrietti. - In: JOURNAL OF ETHOLOGY. - ISSN 0289-0771. - 27:3(2009), pp. 361-367. [10.1007/s10164-008-0129-5]

Biology of Lasioglossum (L.) majus (Hymenoptera: Halictidae), a largely solitary sweat bee with behavioural adaptations to communality

BOESI, ROBERTO;C. Polidori;F. Andrietti
2009

Abstract

Within the bee family Halictidae there have been three origins of sociality. Although detection of origins and reversal from sociality requires phylogenetic studies, at a behavioural level a predisposition to sociality can be detected by analysis of intra-specific interactions. We studied aspects of nesting biology and behavioural interactions in Lasioglossum (Lasioglossum) majus, a poorly known halictine inhabiting temperate regions of Europe, which is suspected to be solitary. Nests were found to be largely used by one female, but some were shared by more than one individual. These few nests, whose entrances were very close to each other, were found to be connected underground. A few individuals were observed to enter in a nest where a female was waiting, behaving as a guard and allowing the incoming bee to enter the nest. By use of circle-tube experiments, the behavioural repertoire exhibited by females during encounters was assessed. Levels of withdrawal and cooperative events were comparable with those observed in other solitary nesting species, but aggressive events were very rare, as in several observed communal species. We conclude that L. (L.) majus females, despite general solitary nesting, possess behavioural components enabling them to adopt, probably in high nestdensity areas, nest-sharing strategies. A similar kind of local social polymorphism has been observed in two other species of the subgenus Lasioglossum, but these are the first data available on a European species and the first record of subterranean connections among nests of halictid bees.
Communal nesting; Hymenoptera; Lasioglossum (L.) majus; Nesting habits; Social evolution; Solitary nesting
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
JOURNAL OF ETHOLOGY
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/67565
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