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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


DA SILVA-MATOS, Eunice Vieira  and  GAROFALO, Carlos Alberto. Worker life tables, survivorship, and longevity in colonies of Bombus (Fervidobombus) atratus (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2000, vol.48, n.2-3, pp.657-664. ISSN 0034-7744.

Survivorship curves and longevity of workers were studied in two queenright and two queenless colonies of Bombus (Fervidobombus) atratus. Survivorship curves for workers of all colonies were, in general, convex, indicating an increasing mortality rate with increasing age. The mean longevity for the workers from queenright colonies, 24.3 days and 17.6 days, was not significantly different from that in  queenless  colonies,  21.2 days and 20.2 days. In all colonies workers started foraging activities when aged 0-5 days, and the potential forager rates rose progressively with increasing age. Mortality rates within each age interval were significantly correlated with the foraging worker rates in all colonies. Only in two of the colonies (one queenright and one queenless) longevity was significantly correlated with worker size. The  duration of brood development period seems to be one of the most important factors influencing  adult worker longevity in this bumble bee species.

Keywords : bumble bee; queenless colonies; survivorship curves; life table.

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