Adaptive behavior of Scotocryptus melitophilus Reitter (Coleoptera, Leiodidae) to live with its host Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera, Apidae)


Revista Brasileira de Zoologia




Forty six beetles Scotocryptus melitophilus Reitter, 1881 collected in a nest of Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier, 1836 were studied. All beetles were put together in a large petri dish with 14 males, 14 virgin queens and 14 workers of M. quadrifasciata, which was not aggressive towards the S. melitophilus and flew with 3 to 10 beetles attached to them. When groups of 20 workers, 20 males and 20 virgin queens were put separately in three petri dishes, the workers become attractive to beetles after they were seven days old, while the males after the 19 days old. Only one virgin queen five days old attracted one beetle. The anatomic parts of the workers bees more attractive to the beetles when smeared to a filter paper were the head (32%), abdomen (29%) and legs (29%). The part of the workers bees that less attracted the beetles was the thorax (10%). 5. melitophilus, both males and females, are able to distinguish caste, sex and age differences of their host M. quadrifasciata, what can increase the adaptive value of the beetles involved in phoretic behavior.

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