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Eulaema bombiformis, E. meriana, and Mullerian Mimicry in Related Species (Hymenoptera: Apidea)
Robert L. Dressler
Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jun., 1979), pp. 144-151
Published by: Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2387794
Page Count: 8
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Eulaema bombiformis, E. meriana, and E. seabrai form part of a Mullerian mimetic complex in the Amazon basin, and all three are exceedingly similar in that region. In eastern coastal Brazil all three species are found, but they are not mimetic there, and are easily distinguished. In coastal Venezuela and northern Central America, E. meriana and E. seabrai form part of a different mimetic complex, and are easily distinguished from E. bombiformis, but show the same color pattern as E. meriana in coastal Brazil (the "flavescens" pattern). It is thought that these mimetic complexes evolved in isolation in Pleistocene refugia, and that the "bombiformis" pattern of Amazonia has invaded trans-Andean Colombia and southern Central America, where it is replacing the "flavescens" pattern in E. meriana and E. seabrai. Critical features are illustrated, and a key to the species Eulaema is presented, together with taxonomic and biological notes.
Biotropica © 1979 Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation