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First record of a tear-drinking stingless bee Lisotrigona cacciae (Nurse) (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini), from the central hills of Sri Lanka

Authors:

WAIP Karunaratne ,

LK
About WAIP
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya.
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JP Edirisinghe,

LK
About JP
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya.
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Michael S. Engel

US
About Michael S.
Division of Entomology, Natural History Museum and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045-4415, USA.
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Abstract

Presently, a single species of stingless bee, Tetragonula iridipennis (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Apinae: Meliponini) is known to occur throughout Sri Lanka. Recently, during field studies in central Sri Lanka, a second genus and a species has been recorded for the island. The minute species, Lisotrigona cacciae (Nurse), is of a rare genus previously known only from northern Borneo and scattered locations in mainland southern Asia. More importantly, this species belongs to a peculiar group of tiny bees that are lachryphagous, feeding on tears secreted from the eyes of mammals, birds, and some reptiles. This is a highly specialised behaviour and biology that remains poorly understood, and generally differs from the well known pollen- and nectar-feeding ethology of most other bees. The discovery of this species provides opportunities for future research into the biology of these bees, and elevates the total bee fauna of Sri Lanka to 149 species in 39 genera.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v45i1.8042
How to Cite: Karunaratne, W., Edirisinghe, J. & Engel, M.S., (2017). First record of a tear-drinking stingless bee Lisotrigona cacciae (Nurse) (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini), from the central hills of Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 45(1), pp.79–81. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v45i1.8042
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Published on 24 Mar 2017.
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