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Abstract: The European wool-carder bee, Anthidium manicatum (L.) (Hymenoptera:
Megachilidae), is a Palearctic megachilid bee species best known for its resource defense
polygynous mating system, its remarkably aggressive males, and its recent range expansion
into North America, South America, and New Zealand. This study, conducted during the
summers of 2009 and 2010, examines further aspects ... read moreof A. manicatum's reproductive biology,
with a particular focus on female nest site selection. Using a captive population of bees
collected at field sites in Brooklyn, New York, USA, and near Boston, Massachusetts, USA, I
demonstrate: i.) that females overwhelmingly prefer to initiate nests in high areas; ii.)
that significant size differences exist between geographically distinct non-native
populations; iii.) that visual cues may be necessary and sufficient for males assessing
territorial challenges; iv.) that females are capable of initiating multiple nests in
parallel, and v.) that females can appropriate in-progress nests abandoned by conspecifics.
This study also highlights advances in the methods used to house experimental populations
of A. manicatum, and briefly explores the species' potential as a model system for
behavioral ecological research.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Biology.
Advisor: Philip Starks.
Committee: Frances Chew, and Sara Lewis.
Keywords: Biology, and Entomology.read less