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Table 1 Salient descriptors used by inhabitants from the north of Misiones to describe and identify stingless bees.

From: Descriptive attributes used in the characterization of stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) in rural populations of the Atlantic forest (Misiones-Argentina)

Criteria Descriptive Traits Description
Size General size or body parts' size ("bigger than yateí").
  Color General color, body parts or spotted pattern.
  Texture Characteristics others than color or shape ("bright").
  Shape Shape traits ("it looks like an ant", "plain abdomen").
  Smell Produced when they attack or are held in hand.
Behavior in the nest Docile: They do not attack and maintain their activity when a person is close to the nest.
   Aggressive:They attack when a person is close to the nest ("knocks", "bites", "piss", "causes a burning sensation").
   Shy:They do not attack or stop their activity (immediate retreat) when a person is close to the nest ("no bees enter or leave the nest").
  Forage Non-hygienic habits:They stand on excrement, urine, dead animals or people's sweat ("they are filthy").
   Cleptoparasitism:They steal honey or wax from other stingless bees.
  Defense Defensive strategies against other insects or non-human enemies ("yateí cut enemies' wings").
  Flight Flight style or type: ("it is fast" or "it flies like a butterfly").
   Flight sound:Sound produced inside the nest ("they snore like a bee") and/or when they fly ("they buzz").
Materials Type (resin, mud), hardness ("iratin [piquera] melts in the sunlight"), color and smell.
  Shape Shape traits ("like a 'charuto' [cigar]"), or ornamentation designs made from resin in colonies without prominent piquera ("it has like rays", "it looks like concreting").
  Size Length (short, long), width (thick or thin) and general size.
  Diameter Thin:Thickness similar to that of bees ("they enter one at a time").
   Thick:Much thicker than the thickness of bees ("many enter at a time").
  Number More than one type of piquera.
Nest Substrate Interior (underground):Underground nests of variable depth.
   Interior (holes):On trees, constructions or other structures.
   Exterior:External nest placed on branches of trees.
  Shape Shape traits ("looks like a ball", "like a pot").
  Colony size Numerous: Large number of individuals ("a lot work together").
   Small:Small number of individuals ("just a few").
  Materials Type (wax, mud), hardness, color and smell.
  1. Examples are included (between brackets)