Pollen Ultrastructure from Heterotrigona Itama Foragers at the Indo-Malayan Meliponine Repository Sekayu, Terengganu, Malaysia

Zubaidah Abu Hassan, Shamsul Bahri Abdul Razak, Junedah Sanusi, Rosmawati Hashim, Norizreen Fara Ismail

  • Zubaidah Abu Hassan
Keywords: H. itama, incidental pollen, selective pollen, pollinator, stingless bee


Stingless bees play an important role as pollinators of plants. Heterotrigona itama is considered as important pollinator’s bee and the most popular species in meliponiculture for high value honey. As a generalist stingless bee, they collected many types of pollen. Thirteen (13) types of pollens collected by H.itama have been identified in Indo-Malayan Meliponine Repository Sekayu, Terengganu. They are Antigonon leptopus (Polygonaceae), Biden pilosa (Asteraceae), Cocos nucifera (Arecaceae),  Capsicum annuum (Solanaceae), Mimosa pudica (Fabaceae), Acacia auriculiformis (Fabaceae), Amaranthus spinosus (Amaranthaceae), Averrhoea carambola (Oxalidaceae), Cosmos sulphureus (Asteraceae), Hymenocallis littoralis (Amaryllidaceae), Sphagneticola tribolata (Asteraceae); Solanum melongena (Solanaceae) and Andrographis paniculata (Acanthaceae). These pollens were loaded mainly on corbiculae, which is called as “selective pollen acquisition” and also adhered abundantly on other body regions, which is called as “incidental pollen acquisition”. These pollens were found adhered on antenna, compound eye, mandible, tongue, other legs, and abdomen; and also spread on the surface of both wings and on thorax.Those pollens on corbiculae or the selective pollens may not serve a reproductive role for the plant as they almost invariably moistened with nectar. While the incidental pollens are considered important and play an effective role in plant pollination as the chances of losing individual grains to get into contact with stigmas and perform pollination during floral visits are very likely. All thirteen (13) type of pollens were occured as both “selective pollen acquisition” and as “incidental pollen acquisition”.

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