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Rediscovery of Tetragonula praeterita after 1860: an unremarked common stingless bee endemic to Sri Lanka

Authors:

T.H. Saumya E. Silva,

LK
About T.H. Saumya E.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya
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G.C. Prasanga Diyes,

LK
About G.C. Prasanga
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya
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W.A. Inoka P. Karunaratne ,

LK
About W.A. Inoka P.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya
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Jayanthi P. Edirisinghe

LK
About Jayanthi P.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya
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Abstract

Three species of stingless bees are documented from Sri Lanka, namely, Tetragonula iridipennis (Smith), Lisotrigona cacciae (Nurse) and the endemic Tetragonula praeterita (Walker). Tetragonula irdipennis is the well-known, widely distributed stingless bee in Sri Lanka while L. cacciae is a recent record of a tear drinking stingless bee from a single site in Sri Lanka. Until the recent rediscovery, T. praeterita was known only from its type specimen deposited in the British Natural History Museum, London with Sri Lanka as its locality and 1860 as its date of description. Location of several stingless bee nests, with an entrance different to that of the well-known T. iridipennis, led to the re-discovery of T. praeterita. Its nesting sites, characteristics of the nest entrance tube and the morphological and morphometric differences of the worker caste compared to those of T. iridipennis are presented in the paper. Eight species of stingless bees have been reported from the Indian subcontinent. It is possible that more than three species of stingless bees occur in Sri Lanka.

How to Cite: Silva, T.H.S.E. et al., (2018). Rediscovery of Tetragonula praeterita after 1860: an unremarked common stingless bee endemic to Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 46(1), pp.109–113. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v46i1.8271
Published on 28 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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