Mate Location and Mate Competition in Males of Stingless Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae)
Roubik, David W.
The stingless bee species Trigona (Tetragona) dorsalis Smith 1854 was observed in a lowland forest in Panama to elucidate hitherto unknown facts of its reproductive ecology. Males find virgin queens by locating nests of conspecifics and waiting many h for a potential mate to emerge. They do not enter the foreign nest and do not interact aggressively, yet avoid contact with others. Guarding workers sometimes interact with the waiting males. It is suggested that males locate queen-producing colonies possibly by locating the workers and males leaving and entering the nests. Sexual selection might occur vis-a-vis selection for foraging ability.