Nesting biology of Centris (Centris) aenea Lepeletier (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Centridini)


Revista Brasileira de Zoologia




Nesting activity of Centris aenea Lepeletier, 1841 was studied in two Brazilian habitats, Caatinga (Monte Santo, Bahia) and Cerrado (Palmeiras, Bahia and Luiz Antônio, São Paulo). Nests were excavated in the ground and did not tend to be aggregated together at the two sites, but at Palmeiras, nests were in a large aggregation. Nest architecture consists of a single unbranched tunnel, sloping to vertical, which leads to a linear series of four cells, placed from 8 to 26 cm in depth. Cells are urn-shaped with a rounded base, and their cell caps have a central hollow process, as in other Centridini. Nest architecture of C. aenea was compared to other species of Centris Fabricius, 1804. Provisions are composed of a pollen mass covered by a thin liquid layer on which the egg is placed. Females were observed gathering oil on Mcvaughia bahiana W.R. Anderson flowers from October to March in the Caatinga, and on Byrsonima intermedia A.Juss. as well as other Malpighiaceae species from August to December in the Cerrado. Pollen is gathered by buzzing flowers of Solanaceae, Caesalpiniaceae, Malpighiaceae, and Ochnaceae. Several nectar sources were recorded. There is indirect evidence that Mesoplia sp. parasitizes nests of C. aenea in the Cerrado.

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