Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 92–105 | Cite as

Social Organization in reactivated nests of three species ofXylocopa (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae) in southeastern Brasil

  • E. Camillo
  • C. A. Garofalo


We have investigated the occurrence of cohabitation of several females in the same nest ofXylocopa suspecta, X. frontalis andX. grisescens which are the most common species in the region of Ribeirão Preto, S.P., Brazil. The study of social behaviour of these species involved, as a general procedure, the identification of each associated female in relation to its foraging and reproductive activity. It was observed that in each species the association of females started at the final phase of the biological cycle, when the reactivation of the nests began. Initially the association was observed to occur among mother and daughters. Subsequently only daughters remained in the nest and in the first phase of this association only one female (generally the eldest), was able to realize oviposition. Next, two ore more females were in the same condition, provisioning and ovipositing in only one cell. In the third phase the females had all the same condition, each one of them provisioning and ovipositing in their own cells. So, in the first and second phases the social behaviour corresponds to the semisocial and quasisocial levels, respectively. Nevertheless, this behaviour was transitory and the final pattern attained was communal.


Social Organization General Procedure Social Behaviour Common Species Final Phase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Soziale Organisation in erneut benutzten Nestern bei drei Xylocopa-Arten (Hymenoptera, Anthrophoridae) in Südostbrasilien


Wir haben das Zusammenleben von meheren Weibchen in Nestern vonXylocopa suspecta, X. frontalis undX. grisescens, den häufigsten Arten in der Region von Ribeirão Preto, S.P., Brasilien, untersucht. Nahrungssammeln und Fortpflanzung der Weibchen wurde als Maß für das Sozialverhalten gewertet.

Die Bildung einer Gemeinschaft begann am Ende des biologischen Zyklus', wenn die Nester erneut benutzt wurden. Zu Beginn bestanden die Gemeinschaften aus der Mutter und ihren Töchtern. Anschließend waren nur die Töchter im Nest, von denen eine, gewöhnlich das älteste Weibchen, Eier legte (erste Phase). Im nächsten Stadium waren zwei oder mehr Weibchen in der Lage, Eier zu legen; sie versorgten gemeinsam dieselben Zellen mit Nahrung und legten Eier. In der dritten Phase legten alle Weibchen Eier, jede versorgte aber ihre eigenen Zellen. Das Sozialverhalten in der ersten Phase wird als semisozial, das Verhalten in der zweiten Phase als quasisozial angesehen. Diese Verhaltensmuster traten jedoch nur vorübergehend auf, denn im letzten Stadium zeigten die Weibchen ein kommunales Sozialverhalten.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anzemberger G., 1977. — Ethological study of African carpenter bees of the genusXylocopa (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae).Z. Tierpsychol., 44, 337–374.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Ben Mordechai Y., Cohen R., Gerling D., Moscovitz E., 1978. — The biology ofXylocopa pubescens Spinola (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae) in Israel.Israel J. Entomol., 12, 107–121.Google Scholar
  3. Bonelli B., 1974. — Osservazioni eto-ecologiche sugli Imenotteri aculeati dell'Etiopia VI.Boll. Inst. Entomol. Univ. Bologna, 32, 105–132.Google Scholar
  4. Bonelli B., 1976. — Osservazioni eto-ecologiche sugli Imenotteri aculeati dell'Etiopia VII.Boll. Inst. Entomol. Univ. Bologna, 33, 1–31.Google Scholar
  5. Camargo J.M.F., Velthuis H.H.W., 1979. — Sobre o comportamento deXylocopa (Megaxylocopa) frontalis (Olivier) (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae).Dusenia, 11 (1), 35–39.Google Scholar
  6. Camillo E., Garófalo C.A., 1982. — On the bionomics ofXylocopa frontalis (Olivier) andXylocopa grisescens. (Lepeletier) in Southern Brazil. I. Nest construction and biological cycle.Rev. Brasil. Biol., 42, (3), 571–582.Google Scholar
  7. Camillo E. Garófalo C.A., Muccillo G., 1986. — On the bionomics ofXylocopa suspecta (Moure) in Southern Brazil: Nest construction and biological cycle (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae).Rev. Brasil. Biol., 46 (2), 383–393.Google Scholar
  8. Gerling D., Hermann H.R., 1978. — Biology and mating behavior ofXylocopa virginica L. (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae).Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 3, 99–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gerling D., Hurd P.D., Hefetz A., 1981. — In nest behavior of the carpenter bee,Xylocopa pubescens Spinola (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae).J. Kansas Entomol., Soc., 54 (2), 209–218.Google Scholar
  10. Gerling D., Hurd P.D., Hefetz A., 1983. — Comparative behavioral biology of two Middle East species of carpenter bees (Xylocopa Latreille) (Hymenoptera, Apoidea).Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 369, 1–33.Google Scholar
  11. Hurd P.D., 1958. — Observations on the nesting habits of some New World carpenter bees with remarks on their importance in the problem of species formation (Hymenoptera, Apoidea).Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am., 51, 365–375.Google Scholar
  12. Hurd P.D., Moure J.S., 1960. — A New World subgenus of bamboo-nesting carpenter bees belonging to the genusXylocopa Latr.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am., 53, 809–821.Google Scholar
  13. Hurd P.D., Moure J.S., 1963. —A classification of the large carpenter bees (Xylocopini) (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). University of California, USA, 22, 365 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Iwata K., 1964. — Egg giantism in sub-tropical Hymenoptera, with ethological discussion on tropical bamboo carpenter bees.Nature et Life S.E. Asia, 3, 399–431.Google Scholar
  15. Michener C.D., 1974. —The social behavior of the bees. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 404 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Moure J.S., Camargo J.M.F., 1987. — Uma nova espécie deXylocopa (Neoxylocopa) do Brasil.Rev. Brasil. Entomol., in press.Google Scholar
  17. Sakagami S.F., Laroca S., 1971. — Observations on the bionomics of some neotropical Xylocopinae bees, with comparative and biofaunistic notes (Hymenoptera, Anthophoridae).J. Fac. Hokkaido Univ., VI Zool.,18 (1), 57–127.Google Scholar
  18. Velthuis H.H.W., 1987. — The evolution of sociality: ultimate and proximate factors leading to primitive social behavior in carpenter bees. In:From individual to collective behavior in social insects (Pasteels, J.M. and Deneubourg, J.L. eds.)Experientia Supplementum, 54, 405–430, Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel.Google Scholar
  19. Velthuis H.H.W., Gerling D., 1983. — At the brink of sociality: interactions between adults of the carpenter beeXylocopa pubescens Spinola.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 12, 209–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Watmough R.H., 1974. — Biology and behavior of carpenter bees in Southern Africa.J. Entomol. Soc. South Afr., 37 (2), 261–281.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Masson 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Camillo
    • 1
  • C. A. Garofalo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de FilosofiaCiências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, USPRibeirão PretoBrasil

Personalised recommendations