The degree of parasitism of the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) by cuckoo bumblebees (Bombus (Psithyrus) vestalis)

  title={The degree of parasitism of the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) by cuckoo bumblebees (Bombus (Psithyrus) vestalis)},
  author={Silvio Erler and H. Michael G. Lattorff},
  journal={Insectes Sociaux},
Host–parasite systems are characterised by coevolutionary arms races between host and parasite. Parasites are often the driving force, as they replicate much faster than their hosts and have shorter generation times and larger population sizes, resulting in higher mutation rates per time interval. This scenario does not fit all host–parasite systems. Socially parasitic cuckoo bumblebees (Bombus (Psithyrus) vestalis) parasitise colonies of Bombus terrestris share most life history… 

The Rarity of Host Species Affects the Co-Extinction Risk in Socially Parasitic Bumblebee Bombus (Psithyrus) Species

It is found that cuckoo bumblebees species are more vulnerable to extinction than their hosts, and it is important to conserve their bumblebee host species.

Monitoring of parasites in bumblebee colonies developed from controlled nesting of wild queens (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus)

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Seasonal variability of prevalence and occurrence of multiple infections shape the population structure of Crithidia bombi, an intestinal parasite of bumblebees (Bombus spp.)

Seasonal fluctuations in prevalence and the occurrence of multiple infections of the gut parasite Crithidia bombi were analyzed in repeatedly sampled populations of two common bumblebee (Bombus spp.) species and selection appears to relax and a recovery in linkage equilibrium is observed.

Species richness of cuckoo bumblebees is determined by the geographical range area of the host bumblebee

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Effective population size as a driver for divergence of an antimicrobial peptide (Hymenoptaecin) in two common European bumblebee species

The effect of Ne on the evolutionary rate of an important immune gene for the antimicrobial peptide Hymenoptaecin in two common central European bumblebee species is tested, finding high intraspecific variability in the coding sequence but low variability for silent polymorphisms in B. terrestris.

Ecology and Evolution of Cuckoo Bumble Bees

Abstract Most social insect lineages contain socially parasitic cheater species that, rather than produce their own workers, infiltrate the nests of closely related social species and force the hosts

The Persistence of Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Northeastern Texas

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Small effective population sizes of bee social parasites compared to their hosts raise important questions for evolutionary arms race

It is shown that inquiline species have Nes that are about an order of magnitude lower than their hosts, so explaining the evolutionary persistence of social parasitism poses a major puzzle for evolutionary biology.



Observations on the behaviours of three European cuckoo bumble bee species (Psithyrus)

Prolonged social contact between Psithyrus females and their hosts, and the possibility of host reproduction in parasitized colonies, suggest that there is considerable opportunity for coevolutionary complexity inBombus-Psithyrus relationships.

Biotope Associations and the Decline of Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)

The results concur with previous suggestions that bumblebees are generally not habitat specialists, so that the conservation of most bumblebee species could be achieved by restoration of flower-rich unimproved meadows.

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The decline of the bumble bees and cuckoo bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombini) of Western and Central Europe

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Investigation of how the presence of parasites in field populations of the bumble bee Bombus lucorum L. relates to variation in life history traits and reproductive performance provides a heuristic approach to understand the factors that affect reproductive success of Bombus colonies.

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The genetic data suggest that the invasion of the European bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, in Tasmania must have happened once, probably around late 1991, and was the result of very few, perhaps only two, individuals arriving in Tasmania.

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Highly variable microsatellites enabled a precise assessment of the number of queen matings in the colonies of five bumble bee species and a single male appeared to have inseminated the queens in the colony of four species.


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Genetic differentiation of continental and island populations of Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Europe

Microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA data call for the protection of the island populations of B. terrestris against importation of bumble bees of foreign origin which are used as crop pollinators as well as a severe bottleneck in the Canary island population.