Léo Correia da Rocha-Filho, Carlos Alberto Garofalo
Journal of Insect Science 13 (23), 1-19, (1 April 2013) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.013.2301
KEYWORDS: Bioindicators, diversity, Euglossa cordata, orchid bees
The Atlantic Forest stretches along Brazil's Atlantic coast, from Rio Grande do Norte State in the north to Rio Grande do Sul State in the south, and inland as far as Paraguay and the Misiones Province of Argentina. This biome is one of the eight biodiversity hotspots in the world and is characterized by high species diversity. Euglossini bees are known as important pollinators in this biome, where their diversity is high. Due to the high impact of human activities in the Atlantic Forest, in the present study the community structure of Euglossini was assessed in a coastal lowland area, Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar - Núcleo Picinguaba (PESM), and in an island, Parque Estadual da Ilha Anchieta (PEIA), Ubatuba, São Paulo State, Brazil. Sampling was carried out monthly, from August 2007 to July 2009, using artificial baits with 14 aromatic compounds to attract males. Twenty-three species were recorded. On PEIA, Euglossa cordata (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) represented almost two thirds of the total species collected (63.2%). Euglossa iopoecila (23.0%) was the most abundant species in PESM but was not recorded on the island, and Euglossa sapphirina (21.0%) was the second most frequent species in PESM but was represented by only nine individuals on PEIA. The results suggest that these two species may act as bioindicators of preserved environments, as suggested for other Euglossini species. Some authors showed that Eg. cordata is favored by disturbed environments, which could explain its high abundance on Anchieta Island. Similarly, as emphasized by other authors, the dominance of Eg. cordata on the island would be another factor indicative of environmental disturbance.