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      Nest architecture and pollen hosts of the boreoalpine osmiine bee species Hoplitis (Alcidamea) tuberculata (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae)

      Journal of Hymenoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Although Hoplitis tuberculata is a rather common bee species in the upper montane and subalpine zone of the Alps, its biology is only fragmentarily known. In the present publication, both nest architecture and pollen host spectrum are described. H. tuberculata nests in insect borings in dead wood, where one to several brood cells are built in a linear series. Examination of four nests obtained from trap nests revealed three peculiar characteristics of its nest architecture: i) the 0.3-0.5 cm thick partitions between the brood cells are three-layered consisting of two walls built from masticated leaves which enclose an interlayer that is densely packed with pebbles, earth crumbs and other small particles; ii) in the majority of the nests, a vestibule varying in length from 2.2-8.9 cm and loosely filled with small particles is present between the outermost cell partition and the nest plug; iii) the nest is sealed by a 1.2-1.9 cm long plug consisting of two walls of masticated leaves which enclose a space that is densely packed with small particles and divided up by one to three additional walls. The nest architecture of H. tuberculata is unique among Palaearctic osmiine bees; however, it corresponds to that of three North American species closely related to H. tuberculata. Microscopical analysis of female pollen loads and brood cell provisions revealed that H. tuberculata is polylectic with a strong preference for Fabaceae. Among the Fabaceae, Lotus and Hippocrepis were by far the most important pollen hosts. Non-Fabaceae taxa represented by substantial proportions in pollen loads or cell provisions were Helianthemum (Cistaceae), Vaccinium (Ericaceae) and Rubus (Rosaceae).

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          Most cited references 10

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          Substrates and Materials Used for Nesting by North American Osmia Bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes: Megachilidae)

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            Patterns of host-plant choice in bees of the genus Chelostoma: the constraint hypothesis of host-range evolution in bees.

            To trace the evolution of host-plant choice in bees of the genus Chelostoma (Megachilidae), we assessed the host plants of 35 Palearctic, North American and Indomalayan species by microscopically analyzing the pollen loads of 634 females and reconstructed their phylogenetic history based on four genes and a morphological dataset, applying both parsimony and Bayesian methods. All species except two were found to be strict pollen specialists at the level of plant family or genus. These oligolectic species together exploit the flowers of eight different plant orders that are distributed among all major angiosperm lineages. Based on ancestral state reconstruction, we found that oligolecty is the ancestral state in Chelostoma and that the two pollen generalists evolved from oligolectic ancestors. The distinct pattern of host broadening in these two polylectic species, the highly conserved floral specializations within the different clades, the exploitation of unrelated hosts with a striking floral similarity as well as a recent report on larval performance on nonhost pollen in two Chelostoma species clearly suggest that floral host choice is physiologically or neurologically constrained in bees of the genus Chelostoma. Based on this finding, we propose a new hypothesis on the evolution of host range in bees.
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              Phylogeny and floral hosts of a predominantly pollen generalist group of mason bees (Megachilidae: Osmiini)

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Hymenoptera Research
                JHR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2607
                1070-9428
                December 22 2015
                December 22 2015
                : 47
                : 53-64
                Article
                10.3897/JHR.47.7278
                © 2015
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