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Nesting biology and social behavior of Xenochlora bees Hymenoptera Halictidae Augochlorini from Peru


, : Nesting biology and social behavior of Xenochlora bees Hymenoptera Halictidae Augochlorini from Peru. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 81(1): 61-72

The augochlorine (Halictidae) bee genus Xenochlora is the diurnal sister group to the nocturnal Megalopta, both of which are stem-nesting halictid bees. Here we present notes on the nesting biology and social behavior in four nests of Xenochlora nigrofemorata and one nest of X. ianthina from Madre de Dios, Peru. All nests contained multiple females and dissections of X. nigrofemorata indicated within nest reproductive differentiation among females that is associated with body size. Size variation among females is conspicuous and a variety of morphometrics are examined to document it. A genal index is used to describe cephalic variation, and results are compared with seven other halictine bees. All morphometrics were investigated for measurement error. Nests of Xenochlora appear to be founded by single females and multifemale nests clearly exhibit parasocial behavior and we hypothesize that they temporally switch between semisocial, eusocial and possibly communal phases.

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