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    Males of euglossine bees, also known as orchid bees, are attracted to aromatic compounds and this feature has been exploited to collect them. Here we sampled orchid bee males using a rapid passive method in a Neotropical savanna ecosystem in Rio Preto State Park (PERP), southeastern Brazil. The sampling protocol consisted of 5-day surveys using scent traps at the beginning and end of the rainy seasons. PERP is inserted in a Brazilian savanna characterized by a mosaic of vegetation types, and elevational gradients. We also analyzed whether the habitat complexity and elevational gradients influence the richness and abundance of these bees. We collected a total of 996 individuals belonging to 14 species and four genera (Eufriesea Cockerell 1908, Euglossa Latreille 1802, Eulaema Lepeletier 1841, and Exaerete Hoffmannsegg 1817). Comparing our results with previous sampling protocols at PERP, higher abundance and richness were observed using traps than insect nets to survey these bees. In addition, the orchid bee fauna in PERP was successfully assessed by our rapid passive protocol, showing that this protocol seems to be useful for collecting orchid bees in open vegetation environments. We observed that the abundance of bees was lower at higher elevations, and both abundance and richness increased in more complex habitat. This may be due to the characteristics of Brazilian savannas where the lower elevations have higher habitat complexity, with more places for nest construction and resources for feeding and nesting. © 2021. Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil.

    Citation

    Thaís Andrade Viana, Francisco Medeiros Martins, Anete Pedro Lourenço. The Orchid Bee Fauna (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini) of a Neotropical Savanna: an Efficient Protocol to Assess Bee Community and Diversity Along Elevational and Habitat Complexity Gradients. Neotropical entomology. 2021 Oct;50(5):748-758

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    PMID: 34283412

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