Orchid bees (Apidae, Euglossini) from Oil Palm Plantations in Eastern Amazon Have Larger but Not Asymmetrical Wings

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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Phenotypic variation in both morphology and symmetry of individuals may appear due to environmental stress caused by land-use changes. Here, we evaluated fluctuating asymmetry (FA) and wing size variations of two orchid bee species, Euglossa ignita Smith, 1874 and Eulaema meriana (Olivier, 1789), comparing 11 wing traits. We sampled the individuals from legal reserves (LR), areas of permanent protection (APP), and oil palm plantations (PALM) in Eastern Amazonia. We calculated FA as the absolute difference between the wing measurements made in the right and left wings of specimens and both species’ wing size. We corrected each FA measure for possible directional asymmetry bias by subtracting the mean value of the mean FA signed difference to each FA measure. We compared FA and the size of each wing trait of each species between land-use types using one-way ANOVAs. We found no effect of FA between land-use types, but we observed individuals of both species from PALM areas having larger wings than those from LR areas. Our results demonstrate that there seems to be a pressure exerted by land-use change associated with palm oil cultivation favoring individuals with larger wings, although both species had shown substantial permeability of oil palm.

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Neotropical Entomology