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Table 2 Qualities of descriptive traits used to identify stingless bees ethnospecies and the salient criteria that group said traits

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

Specie/Vernacular name Number of Reference Organoleptic Ethological Piquera Locations of Nests
Tetragonisca fiebrigi (Schwarz, 1938)- "yateí" 65 Small, yellow. Docile. Strong defense. Tubular piquera, thin (1 cm) and of variable length. It may have more than one. Inners-trees, walls, other substrates
Trigona spinipes (Fabricius, 1793)- "carabozá" 59 Medium-sized. Black. Aggressive. Non-hygienic. Generally without piquera. Tubular thick and short entrance, if it has one. Outer
Tetragona clavipes (Fabricius, 1804)- "borá" 47 Medium-sized, yellow, striped abdomen. Aggressive.
Strong defense.
Thick short tubular piquera, though it may not have one. Inners-trees
Plebeia spp. (Schwarz, 1938)- "mirí" 46 Tiny, dark. Docile/shy.
With or without piquera. Described in several ways. Inners-trees, walls, other substrates
Schwarziana quadripunctata (Lepeletier, 1836)- "abeja del suelo" 35 Medium-sized, thin, large wings. Black. Light spots on body and head, "bataraz" (grey and white pattern). Shy.
Strong defense.
With tubular piquera or entrance on the ground without piquera (just one hole). Underground
Lestrimelitta limao (Smith, 1863) and/or L. rufipes (Friese, 1903)- "iratín" 32 Small to medium-sized, thin ("fine"), round head. Black, bright. Strong lemon verbena or citronella smell. Docile/shy
Robber bees
"snore" inside the nest
Tubular piquera with 2 shapes; a) large (10-15 cm) and wide (3-4 cm); b) a wide main piquera surrounded by numerous blind wax tubes. Inners-trees
Melipona quadrifasciata (Lepeletier, 1836)- "mandasaia" 27 Big, strong. Mainly yellow or black body. Conspicuous. Stripped abdomen. Shy Without piquera. Just one bee-diametered hole. Inners-trees
Scaptotrigona depilis (Moure, 1942) and/or S. bipunctata (Lepeletier, 1836)- "tobuna" 24 Medium-sized with short body or retracted abdomen. Black. Aggressive.
Strong defense.
Straight tubular piquera, thick (2-4 cm) and to 12 cm long. Inners-trees
Melipona obscurior (Moure, 1971)- "mandurí" 24 Medium to big. Black, brown or yellowish. White face. Visible striped abdomen. "bataraz" or "tobiana" (black and white patterns). Shy. Without piquera. Just one bee-diametered hole covered in wax. It may have ornamentations. Inners-trees
Melipona bicolor (Lepeletier, 1836)- "guaraipo" 22 Big, strong. Mainly black. Hairy. Striped abdomen, "barcina" (with black and brown stripes). Shy.
"buzz" like a bee.
Without piquera. Just one bee-diametered hole covered in wax. It may have ornamentations. Inners-trees
Cephalotrigona capitata (Smith, 1854)- "mambuca" 13 Medium to big. Black or brown. Big head. Shy.
"snore" in the nest.
Without piquera. Just one bee-diametered hole covered in wax. Inners-trees
Oxitrigona tataira (Smith, 1863)- "cagafuego" 4 Medium to small. Brown or yellow. "Ant head". Aggressive (burning sensation) With or without tubular piquera. Inners-trees