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Plateaux-Quénu (2008) reviews the social biology of this species, which is common in the Mediterranean region. Lasioglossum nigripes makes nests that are burrows into the soil. The tunnel opens into a larger cavity, which contains clusters of brood cells. Females who have mated the previous autumn and overwintered initiate nests in the spring. They may initiate nests solitarily or in a cofoundress group. The first brood of offspring provisioned in the spring (6-15 individuals) are predominately female and will become non-reproductive workers, but there are some males as well (~5% of offspring). When the workers emerge, the nests become eusocial: reproductive queen(s) and non-reproductive workers foraging for pollen and nectar and provisioning the queen’s offspring. These workers will provision a second brood (30-50 individuals) of future nest foundresses (who will overwinter the following winter) and males (who will mate with other future foundresses and die before winter). Platequx-Quénu (2008) induced two females to overwinter and nest in an observation nest. She found that there was division of labor among the two foundresses: one laid all eggs, while the other provisioned 27 brood cells, the first 24 of which were female with three males coming last. The queen opened closed cells to inspect developing larva.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smith, Adam

Source: Halictidae

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