Ecology, Behavior and Bionomics

Neotropical Entomology

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 466-473

First online:

Old Fragments of Forest Inside an Urban Area Are Able to Keep Orchid Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini) Assemblages? The Case of a Brazilian Historical City

  • R P FerreiraAffiliated withApiário central, DBG, Univ Federal de Viçosa
  • , C MartinsAffiliated withLab de Biodiversidade–DEBIO–ICEB, Univ Federal de Ouro Preto
  • , M C DutraAffiliated withLab de Biodiversidade–DEBIO–ICEB, Univ Federal de Ouro Preto
  • , C B MentoneAffiliated withLab de Biodiversidade–DEBIO–ICEB, Univ Federal de Ouro Preto
  • , Y AntoniniAffiliated withLab de Biodiversidade–DEBIO–ICEB, Univ Federal de Ouro Preto Email author 

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Retention of habitat fragments within the urban matrix can provide critical resources for the maintenance of regional biodiversity while still providing socio-economic value. Euglossini bees are important components in a community as they are important pollinators for economically valuable plants as well as hundreds of orchid species. However, some species are very sensitive to environmental impacts like urbanization. This study presents the role of antique urban fragments in a historical city in Brazil and compares it with a conservation area on the aspects of orchid bee assemblage, such as richness, composition, and abundance. Four fragments inside the city of Ouro Preto and three inside Parque Estadual do Itacolomi (PEIT) were sampled for Euglossini bees. Sorensen similarity index was used to compare community composition. The Mantel test was applied to verify the hypothesis that an urban center is a barrier for the mobility of the individuals. Fourteen Euglossini species from the region were registered. Close to 75% of the sampled bees were collected from the PEIT sampling areas. The fragments presented differences in Euglossini richness and abundance. A majority of the sampled fragments were dominated by the Eulaema cingulata Fabricius, Eulaema nigrita Lepeletier, and Euglossa securigera Dressler species. We found differences on community composition between the fragments localized in PEIT and those located in the urban center. The data suggest that there is a possible flux of individuals between the sampled fragments. The various small forest fragments in Ouro Preto, primarily in backyards, may also serve as stepping stones between sampled fragments.


Habitat fragment urbanization orchid bees