Amegilla spp. (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae) have been suggested as potential native Australian alternative to overseas used bumblebees (Bombus spp.) for pollination of tomato in greenhouses. In this study, we investigate the effectiveness of Amegilla chlorocyanea Cockerell as a greenhouse pollinator of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. We show that 1) a single buzz by a female increases tomato weight by 11% compared with pollination by using an industrial pollination wand, 2) multiple buzzes increase tomato weight compared with a single buzz, and 3) unlimited flower visits lead to an increase in fruit weight of 21% compared with wand pollination. These results are comparable with those achieved by bumblebee pollination and demonstrate that A. chlorocyanea is a valid alternative to bumblebees for greenhouse tomato pollination in Australia.
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Vol. 99 • No. 3