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Ecology, Behavior, Pheromones, Parasites and Management of the Sympatric Vernal Bees Colletes inaequalis, C. thoracicus and C. validus

S. W. T. Batra
Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Jul., 1980), pp. 509-538
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25084067
Page Count: 30
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ecology, Behavior, Pheromones, Parasites and Management of the Sympatric Vernal Bees Colletes inaequalis, C. thoracicus and C. validus
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Abstract

Colletes inaequalis Say, C. thoracicus Smith and C. validus Cresson usually occupy the same forest habitat in Maryland, both sexes are interspecifically attracted to the same linaloölcitral mandibular gland pheromone, and two species share nest and mating aggregations. Nesting activity and food sources of all three overlap. The earliest, C. inaequalis, emerges as soon as the earth thaws in spring and uses primarily Acer pollen; C. validus pollinates mainly Vaccinium, and the latest, C. thoracicus, commonly visits Liriodendron. The subterranean nests of all three species are similar. Sexual behavior is described, including the in copulo nuptial flight of C. thoracicus. An expanding aggregation of C. thoracicus in a suburban lawn included over 104,500 nests; other such outbreaks are known. Nest and cell construction were observed. The brood cells are lined with a polyester membrane derived from macrocyclic lactones secreted by the Dufour's gland, imbibed and applied by the glossa. Hylaeus constructs a morphologically similar membrane from silk secreted apparently by the thoracic salivary glands. Associates include provision-destroying fungi of the genera Rhizopus, Fusarium, Cephalosporium and Cladosporium. Larval rhabditid nematodes commonly inhabit the Dufour's glands of Colletes and Halictus. The Diptera, Leucophora marylandica (Malloch), L. obtusa (Zetterstedt) and Hylemya platura (Meigen) were present at aggregations, and larvae of Anthomyiidae were common in cells. The Sarcophagidae, Senotainia trilineata (Wulp) and Metopia campestris (Fallen), were also present; Phorosinella fumosa Allen was reared. Bombyliidae, Asilidae and Tachinidae were also present. The Meloidae, Tricrania sanguinipennis Say and Lytta anena Say, and Stylopidae were in cells. The conservation and management of Colletes validus for blueberry pollination is recommended. An artificial aggregation of Colletes nests was established.

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