Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (1): 153-157, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.021

Male territorial behaviour of the endemic large carpenter bee, Xylocopa (Koptortosoma) ogasawarensis (Hymenoptera: Apidae), on the oceanic Ogasawara Islands

Shinji SUGIURA
Department of Forest Entomology, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI), 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki

The endemic large carpenter bee, Xylocopa (Koptortosoma) ogasawarensis Matsumura (Hymenoptera: Apidae), on the oceanic Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands, located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, approximately 1000 km south of the Japanese mainland, is a generalist flower visitor. Although the flower-visiting behaviour of X. ogasawarensis females has been frequently recorded, the behaviour of the males in this species has rarely been studied. I observed the territorial behaviour of males on flowers of the native plant species Scaevola sericea Vahl (Campanulales: Goodeniaceae) in a coastal area of Hahajima in early July 2007. Each male chose a particular inflorescence, hovered near it (mean distance, 239 mm from the inflorescence) and patrolled around it for several minutes (mean time, 331 s). Therefore, X. ogasawarensis males exhibit resource-based (i.e., flowers) territoriality. Males frequently attacked other males when defending their territories. However, males did not defend their territories against flower visitors of other species (i.e., introduced honeybees). Therefore, male territorial behaviour in X. ogasawarensis may be related to intrasexual competition for sites visited by females. This is the first report describing the male territorial behaviour of X. ogasawarensis.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Apidae, flower-visiting behaviour, interference, Xylocopa (Koptortosoma) ogasawarensis, flower-based territoriality

Received: August 23, 2007; Accepted: October 8, 2007; Published: February 15, 2008

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