Primary nectar robbing by Apis mellifera (Apidae) on Pyrostegia venusta (Bignoniaceae): behavior, pillaging rate, and its consequences

Abstract

The interactions between plants and their pollinators are the result of convergent evolution of floral attributes reflecting pressure exerted by pollinators. Nonetheless, the strategies employed by floral visitors to collect floral resources are extremely complex, and commonly involve theft or robbery in addition to pollination. We describe here the behavioral repertory of Apis mellifera during the collection of the floral resources, and evaluated the robbing rates of A. mellifera on the buds and flowers of Pyrostegia venusta during periods of intense and sparse flowering. We recorded the behaviors exhibited by foraging bees while collecting floral resources, quantified the numbers of floral buds and flowers with perforations in their corolla tissues, and determined whether that damage reduced nectar production. The evaluations were conducted during two distinct periods: during the period of intense flowering of P. venusta, and during the period of sparse flowering. Nectar robbing was observed during 93.4% of the visits of foraging A. mellifera bees, while nectar theft was observed during only 0.7% of the visits, and pollen theft during 5.9%. The robbing of floral buds and flowers was most intense during the period of heavy flowering. Flowers that had been intensely robbed secreted significantly less nectar than those non-robbed. The unusual nectar robbing activities of A. mellifera, especially during the period of intense flowering indicates an optimization of access to larger volumes of food resources. Our results therefore point to a major limitation of nectar per floral unit during the intense flowering period of P. venusta due to the high activity of nectar robbing by A. mellifera bees.

What do we know about flamingo behaviors? A systematic review of the ethological research on the Phoenicopteridae (1978–2020)

Abstract

We provide a systematic review of the current scope of published behavioral research on flamingos (Phoenicopteridae), to answer the following questions: (1) what is the profile of ethology and behavioral research on flamingos, (2) which are the behaviors displayed by flamingos already observed and described in nature and captivity, and (3) what are the prospects in the ethological research of the group? Eighty-eight studies, from 1978 to 2020, met our inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Most involved maintenance and social behaviors in the context of ecology and welfare. Furthermore, most studies were performed on animals in captivity and controlled conditions, but there was a recent trend of studies in the field, mainly in South America and the Caribbean. The most studied species were greater and American flamingos, but there is a recent rise in studies on Chilean and Andean flamingos in Latin America. Most ethological studies on this group included quantitative analyses, ignoring a more qualitative perspective of the individuals’ displays. Behavior description can also help in comparative studies between flamingo species and other water birds. Expanding research to Andean, James’s, and lesser flamingos is a priority, since their populations are more vulnerable. Ethological research can help identify the threats and measure the impacts on these species, which can be useful for setting up management plans and conservation actions to mitigate the damage and avoid extinction.

Lateralization at the individual and population levels of European green lizard in Slovak Karst

Abstract

Lateralization is one of the specific characteristics of animals, occurring in both invertebrates and vertebrates. Lateralization exists at two levels, individual level and population level. This research is focused on the individual- and population-level lateralization of the European green lizard (Lacerta viridis) under laboratory conditions. Lateralization was observed experimentally in a modified T-maze without the possibility of visual control by lizards. Lizards were stimulated by a piston from the caudal side to simulate a predator attack from behind. The numbers of left and right choices were evaluated. Statistical analysis confirmed no statistically significant difference in lateralization at both the individual and population levels. The absence or presence of autotomy suggests that non-biased lizards have a better chance of escape from a predator than left- or right-biased individuals. In the population of L. viridis studied by us, it seems that to be non-biased could be the best strategy to survive predator attacks.