Spontaneous choices for insect-pollinated flower shapes by wild non-eusocial halictid bees

Howard, Scarlett, Prendergast, K, Symonds, Matthew, Shrestha, M and Dyer, AG 2021, Spontaneous choices for insect-pollinated flower shapes by wild non-eusocial halictid bees, Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 224, no. 16, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1242/jeb.242457.

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Title Spontaneous choices for insect-pollinated flower shapes by wild non-eusocial halictid bees
Author(s) Howard, ScarlettORCID iD for Howard, Scarlett orcid.org/0000-0002-1895-5409
Prendergast, K
Symonds, MatthewORCID iD for Symonds, Matthew orcid.org/0000-0002-9785-6045
Shrestha, M
Dyer, AG
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology
Volume number 224
Issue number 16
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher Company of Biologists
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2021-08
ISSN 0022-0949
1477-9145
Keyword(s) Angiosperms
Behaviour
Decision making
Foraging
Native bees
Pollinators
Summary ABSTRACT The majority of angiosperms require animal pollination for reproduction, and insects are the dominant group of animal pollinators. Bees are considered one of the most important and abundant insect pollinators. Research into bee behaviour and foraging decisions has typically centred on managed eusocial bee species, including Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris. Non-eusocial bees are understudied with respect to foraging strategies and decision making, such as flower preferences. Understanding whether there are fundamental foraging strategies and preferences that are features of insect groups can provide key insights into the evolution of flower–pollinator co-evolution. In the current study, Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) lanarium and Lasioglossum (Parasphecodes) sp., two native Australian generalist halictid bees, were tested for flower shape preferences between native insect-pollinated and bird-pollinated flowers. Each bee was presented with achromatic images of either insect-pollinated or bird-pollinated flowers in a circular arena. Both native bee species demonstrated a significant preference for images of insect-pollinated flowers. These preferences are similar to those found in A. mellifera, suggesting that flower shape preference may be a deep-rooted evolutionary occurrence within bees. With growing interest in the sensory capabilities of non-eusocial bees as alternative pollinators, the current study also provides a valuable framework for further behavioural testing of such species.
Language eng
DOI 10.1242/jeb.242457
Field of Research 06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30154143

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