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Francis L.W. Ratnieks | University of Sussex - Inglaterra

Grant number: 08/57782-2
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: January 23, 2009 - February 22, 2009
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Principal Investigator:Vera Lucia Imperatriz-Fonseca
Grantee:Vera Lucia Imperatriz-Fonseca
Visiting researcher: Francis L.W. Ratnieks
Visiting researcher institution: University of Sussex (US), England
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:04/15801-0 - Biodiversity and sustainable use of pollinators, with emphasis on Meliponini bees, AP.BTA.TEM


Social insect nests normally have entrance guards that prevent entry by both allospecific and conspecific intruders. Social bees, including the honey bee and most stingless bees, have guards that patrol the entrance area on foot. The stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula also has guards that hover on either side of the nest entrance. Previous research has shown that the hovering guards detect allospecific intruders that produce volatile odours or have a different colour to the yellow T. angustula workers, and that the standing guards detect conspecific intruders after contacting them with their antennae. The project will investigate the relationship between these two groups of guards, addressing three questions: 1) Is there division of labour between hovering and standing guards? 2) What cues are detected and used by hovering and standing guards in the recognition of intruders? 3) How does having both hovering and standing guards improve nest defence? (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GRUETER, CHRISTOPH; MENEZES, CRISTIANO; IMPERATRIZ-FONSECA, VERA L.; RATNIEKS, FRANCIS L. W. A morphologically specialized soldier caste improves colony defense in a neotropical eusocial bee. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v. 109, n. 4, p. 1182-1186, JAN 24 2012. Web of Science Citations: 54.
JONES, SAM M.; VAN ZWEDEN, JELLE S.; GRUETER, CHRISTOPH; MENEZES, CRISTIANO; ALVES, DENISE A.; NUNES-SILVA, PATRICIA; CZACZKES, TOMER; IMPERATRIZ-FONSECA, VERA L.; RATNIEKS, FRANCIS L. W. The role of wax and resin in the nestmate recognition system of a stingless bee, Tetragonisca angustula. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY, v. 66, n. 1, p. 1-12, JAN 2012. Web of Science Citations: 16.

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