David Roubik

David Roubik
Smithsonian Institution · Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

Ph.D.
Full time basic and some applied research in tropical lands, and museum research when feasible.

About

304
Publications
104,307
Reads
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12,607
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
April 1979 - present
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Description
  • Staff Entomologist, Senior Scientist Studies on the ecological impact of Africanized honey bees
Education
September 1975 - April 1979
University of Kansas
Field of study
  • Entomology

Publications

Publications (304)
Article
This paper describes the eggs and last larval instars of certain species of bees belonging to the tribe Meliponini, one of the four related tribes that comprise the corbiculate bees in the subfamily Apinae. The four taxa analyzed include some whose immature stages have previously been described. Our purpose is to identify what is known about the an...
Article
Full-text available
Plants and pollinators are linked but their dynamics are scarcely known. Chemical monitoring of male “orchid bees” at two sites revealed 75% of species were stable or increasing. Forest bees of 33 species, with live sighting at Pipeline Road (PR), and trapping on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), included 132,000 individuals. No species or community cha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eight colonies of Trigona fulviventris in 75 ha forest study plots and one at Snyder Molino trail provided population baselines. The average forager population was found to be 7400, using mark-recapture techniques during 1980 to 2017. After 300 bees leaving their nest were marked, 'inverse sampling' recaptures yielded estimates of daily forager pop...
Preprint
Full-text available
The subject has progressed in 20 years, although much basic biology still defies capture. Bees, however, have been captured in increasing numbers. One study of 132,000 male orchid bees found Pareto's Principle in an orchid bee community. About 1/5 of total bee species were 80% of individuals counted in a 40-year continuous study. In that lowland tr...
Article
Full-text available
This is about photos, photos alone, with a little description. They are freely available and 'open' in the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. I hope that AI and RG got that straight. Cheers, DWR
Article
Full-text available
Ecuadorian honey samples of eight genera and 12 stingless bee species from three geographic regions (Andes, Amazon and Pacific) were studied for their physicochemical parameters, chemical composition, mineral elements and antimicrobial activity. Meliponine honey is acidic and high in water content, but our study revealed substantial chemical variat...
Article
Thomas Belt (“The Naturalist in Nicaragua” 1874) recorded scale insects (Hemiptera) and biting ants, Azteca, in trees of Cecropia (Urticaceae), but no one has reported bees. Discovery of stingless bees (Meliponini) nesting high in Amazonian Cecropia (Fig. 1, Appendix S1: Fig. S1), with obligatory coccid scale insects, led me to re‐cast the evolutio...
Article
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Chapter
Full-text available
A bee is not only a ▶ pollinator responsible for the seeds, fruit, and leaves that feed myriad organisms. It is part of a community. In that capacity, bees have a major impact in promoting genetic outcrossing of plant populations. That cannot be equaled in any way by recombination during plant gametogenesis and certainly not through self-pollinatio...
Chapter
Full-text available
a little bit of the biology of social bee nesting in the tropics
Article
Tropical insects are astonishingly diverse and abundant yet receive only marginal scientific attention. In natural tropical settings, insects are involved in regulating and supporting ecosystem services including seed dispersal, pollination, organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, herbivory, food webs and water quality, which in turn help f...
Article
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A recent restoration of the Basilica Cathedral in Casco Viejo, Panamá, revealed that prior to 1871–1876 female orchid bees ( Eufriesea surinamensis ) built large nesting aggregations high above the main altar, based on physical evidence dating to a nineteenth-century restoration. Bees constructed cells in approximately 120 clusters in six different...
Article
The egg and mature larva of a presently unnamed species of the bee genus Plebeia are anatomically described, illustrated, and compared with those of other known Meliponini, based on abundant specimens collected from two nests recovered from a tree at the Yasuní Scientific Station, Orellana Province, Ecuador. A key to the four tribes (Apini, Bombini...
Article
Full-text available
Size variation of both males and females leads to taxonomic confusion regarding wholly parasitic euglossines. The six most widespread species, Exaerete frontalis, E. smaragdina, E. dentata, E. trochanterica, E. lepeletieri, and Aglae caerulea, ranged from 12.5 to 28 mm in length (n = 522; 50 females; 472 males), and within species, some were 40-80%...
Article
Task allocation is a central challenge of collective behavior in a variety of group-living species, and this is particularly the case for the allocation of social insect workers for group defense. In social insects, both benefits and considerable costs are associated with the production of specialized soldiers. We asked whether colonies mitigate co...
Article
This paper describes the eggs and last larval instars of certain species of bees belonging to the tribe Meliponini, one of the four related tribes that comprise the corbiculate bees in the subfamily Apinae. The four taxa analyzed include some whose immature stages have previously been described. Our purpose is to identify what is known about the an...
Article
Full-text available
Scaura Schwarz, 1938 is a small Neotropical genus of stingless bees widely distributed in Brazil. The new species of Scaura is a widespread species, and its wide distribution may suggest that it is a species complex. In order to differentiate populations that could compose cryptic species, we studied the wing venation variation using geometric morp...
Chapter
Full-text available
Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.; Sapindaceae) is found in the humid tropics, native to Indonesia and Malaysia, and is considered an underutilized fruit crop [1]. Rambutan and other crops such as lychees, durian, guavas and passion fruit are considered "minor tropical fruits" by FAO [2], because they are traded mostly at the regional level in small...
Article
Full-text available
A checklist of Euglossini in Ecuador is given, including all currently described, valid species collected until 2018. The list has been assembled from museum records, fieldwork cited herein, and literature. The former species lists are nearly doubled here, with 1 Aglae , 23 Eufriesea , 68 Euglossa , 18 Eulaema , and 5 Exaerete, 115 in total with >...
Article
Full-text available
Stingless honey bees— commonly known as stingless bees— have long provided food and materials to the inhabitants of tropical America. We conducted a literature search to codify available information, including non-peer reviewed ‘grey literature’, on the purported value of stingless bees to indigenous people. Among >400 species of Neotropical stingl...
Article
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We observed and ranked foraging behavior among competing hymenopterans. Africanized honeybees, observed in Yucatan, Mexico attacking Trigona fulviventris (Meliponini) on flowers in 2005, were again studied there in 2015 and 2016. We used honey-water (of Apis or Melipona) and standardized baiting to observe bee and wasp foraging. Of the recorded 757...
Book
Full-text available
This covers the basics in modern day crop pollination with a world-wide sample. It is Volume 1 of 2 Volumes. The second volume gives more detail on scientific methods and practice. There are some 80 authors in total, and DWR is the editor and but one contributor. The publication is free to all, and not for commercial sale.
Book
Full-text available
This volume gives details on scientific methods and practice. The first volume covers the basics in modern day crop pollination with a world-wide sample. There are 2 Volumes in total. There are some 80 authors, and DWR is the editor and but one contributor. The publication is free to all, and not for commercial sale.
Article
Full-text available
In ants, bees, and other social Hymenoptera, alarm pheromones are widely employed to coordinate colony nest defense. In that context, alarm pheromones elicit innate species-specific defensive behaviors. Therefore, in terms of classical conditioning, an alarm pheromone could act as an unconditioned stimulus (US). Here, we test this hypothesis by est...
Book
This book covers pot-pollen-the other product, besides honey, stored in cerumen pots by Meliponini. Critical assessment is given of stingless bee and pot-pollen biodiversity in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Topics addressed include historical biogeography, cultural knowledge, bee foraging behavior, pollination, ecological interactions, he...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change will cause geographic range shifts for pollinators and major crops, with global implications for food security and rural livelihoods. However, little is known about the potential for coupled impacts of climate change on pollinators and crops. Coffee production exemplifies this issue, because large losses in areas suitable for coffee...
Poster
Full-text available
Orchids are one of the most diverse, prominent, and endangered components of the Neotropical flora. The Neotropical Orchidaceae have evolved an astounding array of interactions with a diverse set of organisms, upon which they entirely rely for essential biological services. This is particularly true for pollination, which is predominantly carried o...
Article
Full-text available
Orchid bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini) are abundant and important pollinators of Neotropical forests, but orchid bee diversity is still poorly known in much of Mesoamerica, particularly in cloud forests. This paper presents results of a 2012 to 2013 survey of orchid bee diversity in Cusuco National Park, a cloud forest environment in northwe...
Article
Full-text available
Bees and their host flower populations were studied by identifying pollen to species or genus, from trap nests where bees were reared. Rare plant species in bee diets, and disturbance regimes, have not previously been researched and are emphasized here. Two focal bee groups with one species each (Megachilidae and Apidae) were studied in a 500,000-h...
Chapter
Diverse knowledge systems, including science and indigenous and local knowledge (ILK), contribute to understanding pollinators and pollination, their economic, environmental and socio-cultural values and their management globally(well established). Scientific knowledge provides extensive and multidimensional understanding of pollinators and pollina...
Article
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Nectar-robbing has the potential to strongly affect male and female reproductive fitness of plants. One example of nectar theft is that shown by striped-squirrels (Tamiops swinhoei) on a number of ginger species, including Alpinia roxburghii and A. kwangsiensis (Zingiberaceae). In this study, we used a fluorescent dye as a pollen analogue, and meas...
Data
Mean flower visits with fluorescent dye in the stigma of each flower for robbed and unrobbed Four Directional Plots (FDP). (DOC)
Data
Data shows that impact of nectar robbing on fruit set based on number of flowers and inflorescences, and seed set based on number of fruits in robbed and unrobbed FDP, during 2005 and 2007. (DOC)
Article
Full-text available
Quantifying the spatio-temporal distribution of arthropods in tropical rainforests represents a first step towards scrutinizing the global distribution of biodiversity on Earth. To date most studies have focused on narrow taxonomic groups or lack a design that allows partitioning of the components of diversity. Here, we consider an exceptionally la...
Article
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We analyzed the topological structure (e.g., links per species, connectance, core-periphery analyses, specialization, nestedness, modularity) of plant-bee interactions of four areas in Mexico. We used qualitative data (binary networks). Mexico exhibits a complex geography and community variation that can affect bee networks. Network architecture is...
Article
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Patterns of metabolic rate variation have been documented extensively in animals, but their functional basis remains elusive. The membrane pacemaker hypothesis proposes that the relative abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids in membrane phospholipids sets the metabolic rate of organisms. Using species of tropical orchid bees spanning a 16-fold r...
Chapter
Full-text available
We present results of the flowering phenology of most plant species visited by European and Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica and A. mellifera scutellata, respectively) in the Yucatán Peninsula. Colonies from both bee types visited the largest number of plant species at the end of the wet season (September and October) and the beginni...
Article
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Using precise pollen species determination by conventional microscopic methods, accompanied by molecular genetic markers, we found bees collect GMO (genetically modified) soybean pollen and incorporate it in Yucatan honey. Honey comb samples from Las Flores, Campeche, Mexico, often contained soybean pollen. Pollen in honey was analyzed in nine samp...
Article
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Introduction. Many cultivated plants do well with exotic pollinators, and native pollinators can also serve exotic crops. Both can be optimized for agriculture. We studied Nephelium lappaceum L. (Sapindaceae), an andro-dioecious Asian plant, in tropical Mexico. The hermaphrodite flowers were not known to shed viable pollen, and outcrossing from mal...
Article
Full-text available
This research considered native Mayan stingless bees, Melipona beecheii, with special attention to decrease in their managed colonies. From a total of 155 beekeepers located in 60 communities, 58 were randomly selected to survey in 2011. Their experience ranged from less than one to 50 years, and initial colonies from one to 100. Both structured an...
Article
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Associative color learning has been demonstrated to be very poor using restrained European honey bees unless the antennae are amputated. Consequently, our understanding of proximate mechanisms in visual information processing is handicapped. Here we test learning performance of Africanized honey bees under restrained conditions with visual and olfa...
Book
The stingless bees are one of the most diverse, attractive, fascinating, conspicuous and useful of all the insect groups of the tropical world. This is a formidable and contentious claim but I believe it can be backed up. They are fifty times more species rich than the honey bees, the other tribe of highly eusocial bees. They are ubiquitous in the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Eighty species of meliponine bees are listed from French Guiana. Distribution records are given for each species. Voucher specimens are preserved in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (various collectors), Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Roubik collection), Natural History Museum in Lawrence, Kansas, and University of São Paul...
Chapter
We evaluate bee pollen taxonomy analytic techniques for honey and pollen harvested by a stingless bee and a honeybee. Pollen counts and concentrations, calibrated with an internal Lycopodium spore standard, and the misapplication of pollen counts to nectar or pollen importance—or honey origin—are emphasized. We sampled a meliponicultural favorite,...
Chapter
This work is an historical account of the scientific study of meliponas or stingless bees. The starting point is the invention of the microscope in the seventeenth century, which allowed scientists to begin certain detailed studies of bees and also the scientific expeditions in tropical regions. The stingless bees in different cultures, worldwide,...
Article
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Most eukaryotic organisms are arthropods. Yet, their diversity in rich terrestrial ecosystems is still unknown. Here we produce tangible estimates of the total species richness of arthropods in a tropical rainforest. Using a comprehensive range of structured protocols, we sampled the phylogenetic breadth of arthropod taxa from the soil to the fores...
Article
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Recently there has been considerable concern about declines in bee communities in agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination to agriculture, provided primarily by bees, is >$200 billion/year worldwide, and in natural ecosystems it is thought to be even greater. However, no monitoring program exists to accurately detect declines in...
Article
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Long-term or lifetime specificity in plantpollinator relationships is likely a consequence of natural selection to not only enhance the probability of cross-pollination but also to improve pollinator efficiency. Dependency on one or few pollinators involves risk whereas multiple species may reduce the probability of extinction via unreliable pollin...
Article
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Bees move and forage within three dimensions and rely heavily on vision for navigation. The use of vision-based odometry has been studied extensively in horizontal distance measurement, but not vertical distance measurement. The honey bee Apis mellifera and the stingless bee Melipona seminigra measure distance visually using optic flow-movement of...
Article
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1. Spatial and temporal availability of pollen helps shape bee foraging behaviour and productivity, which has been studied in great detail at the landscape level, but never in a diverse tropical forest.2. To study the effect of spatio‐temporal variation in resource distribution on pollen use and productivity, we identified pollen from spatially exp...