J. M. F. CAMARGO (in memoriam) & S. R. M. PEDRO

This catalog provides the general literature about Neotropical Meliponini through 2004, and about taxonomy, through 2012; however, the search was not exhaustive, in such a way that it is not free of omissions. Resumes and theses were not included. The Moure files on Meliponini, which originated this catalog, were updated by him through 1965. After that, the compilation and indexation of the literature have been carried on by us. Other important sources of information were the magnificent monographs by Schwarz (1932, 1948), on the genera Melipona and Trigona (including Paratrigona, Schwarziana, Parapartamona, Cephalotrigona, Oxytrigona, Scaura and Mourella), respectively. Other revisional papers are: Ducke (1916, 1925, stingless bees from Brazil), Camargo (1980, genus Partamona), Camargo & Moure (1994, Paratrigona and Aparatrigona), Camargo (1996, Camargoia), Camargo & Moure (1996, Geotrigona), Ayala (1999, stingless bees from Mexico), Pedro & Camargo (2003, Partamona; 2009, Leurotrigona), Camargo & Pedro, (2003, Partamona; 2004, Ptilotrigona; 2005, Dolichotrigona; 2009, Celetrigona) and Marchi & Melo (2006, Lestrimelitta from Brazil). The main reviews of supra-specific taxa are: Moure (1951, 1961), Wille (1979), Michener (1990, 2000) and Camargo & Pedro (1992). In the present catalog 33 exclusively Neotropical genera (including one extinct) are recognized; a total of 641 names for taxa of species-group are listed (including synonyms, nomina nuda, incertae sedis and subspecific epithets), 417 of them are considered valid. Four species are considered polytypic: Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier (with two subspecies), Melipona bicolor Lepeletier (two subspecies), Melipona marginata Lepeletier (two subspecies) and Melipona seminigra Friese (four subspecies). Lectotypes are designated for 16 species, and 10 new synonyms and changes in taxonomic status are proposed. For the extinct genus Proplebeia, are recognized four species, three of them from the amber of Dominican Republic, and one from the amber of Chiapas, Mexico, dated from the Miocene (see Camargo et al., 2000). The New World stingless bees range, presently, from the lowlands of Mexico - in the west, Alamos, Sonora (27ºN, 107ºW; see Búrquez, 1997), in the east, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, near the border with United States -, to the northwest of Argentina (Catamarca) and Montevideo, Uruguay. To the west, on the coastal region of the Pacific, the stingless bees reach Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru (08º06'S; Camargo & Pedro, 2003: 328). They inhabit some islands of the Pacific coast of Panama and Colombia, and Trinidad in the Caribbean region. The only species exclusively insular is Melipona variegatipes Gribodo, from Guadeloupe, Dominica and Montserrat, in the Lesser Antilles. In Jamaica and Cuba the species Melipona beecheii Bennet, was probably introduced from the mainland by indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean. Only two genera are endemic to montane habitats: Parapartamona, whose species inhabit the cloud forests of the Ecuadorian and Colombian Andes, between 1,400 and 3,400 meters of altitude, and Meliwillea, from the cloud forests of the Talamanca mountain range of Costa Rica (Roubik et al., 1997). The higher altitudinal range recorded for Meliponini up to now was 4,000 meters, in the Bolivian Andes, for Geotrigona tellurica Camargo & Moure. The distribution of the species are presented in geopolitical terms: country and main subdivision (states, departments, provinces, etc.). However, this procedure fails in giving the real dimension of the geographic range occupied by the taxon. For example, the Amazonas states, Brazil, is composed of, at least, three different biogeographical components, and many smaller areas of endemism; most of the taxa recorded from this state are restricted to one of these components (see Camargo & Pedro, 2003). Acknowledgements. To Pe. Jesus S. Moure (in memoriam), who idealized and initiated the compilation and indexation of the literature about the Meliponini. To Mr. José Amílcar Tavares Filho, who has been diligently recording the references data for several years. To Claus Rasmussen, who examined the lectotype of Trigona cilipes (Fabricius) in Copenhagen and the type-series of Friese and Dominique, deposited in the Hungarian Museum and in the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Nantes, France, respectively. To Dr. Gerardo Lamas for some explanations on nomenclature. To Professors Paulo Nogueira-Neto and Vera Lúcia Imperatriz- Fonseca by providing additional references, and to Gabriel Augusto Rodrigues de Melo, organizer of the Catalog of Apoidea, for comments and suggestions.


Ayala, R. (1999). Revision de las abejas sin aguijon de Mexico (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini). Folia Entomológica Mexicana 106: 1-123
Búrquez, A. (1997). Distributional limits of Euglossine and Meliponine bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Northwestern Mexico. Pan-Pac. Entomol. 73 (2): 137-140
Camargo, J. M. F. (1980). O grupo Partamona (Partamona) testacea (Klug): suas espécies, distribuição e diferenciação geográfica (Meliponinae, Apidae, Hymenoptera). Acta Amazonica 10 (4, suplemento): 1-175
Camargo, J. M. F. (1996). Meliponini neotropicais: o gênero Camargoia Moure, 1989 (Apinae, Apidae, Hymenoptera). Arq. Zool. (São Paulo) 33 (2): 71-92
Camargo, J. M. F., Grimaldi, D. A. & Pedro, S. R. M. (2000). The extinct fauna of stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini) in Dominican Amber: two new species and redescription of the male of Proplebeia dominicana (Wille & Chandler). Am. Mus. Novit. 3293: 1-24
Camargo, J. M. F. & J. S. Moure (1994). Meliponinae Neotropicais: Os gêneros Paratrigona Schwarz, 1938 e Aparatrigona Moure, 1951 (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Arq. Zool. (São Paulo) 32 (2): 33-109
Camargo, J. M. F. & J. S. Moure (1996). Meliponini Neotropicais: o gênero Geotrigona Moure, 1943 (Apinae, Apidae, Hymenoptera), com especial referência à filogenia e biogeografia. Arq. Zool. (São Paulo) 33 (3): 95-161
Camargo, J. M. F. & Pedro, S. R. M. (1992). Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography of the Meliponinae (Hymenoptera, Apidae): a mini-review. Apidologie 23: 509-522
Camargo, J. M. F. & Pedro, S. R. M. (2003). Meliponini neotropicais: o gênero Partamona Schwarz, 1939 (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Apinae) - bionomia e biogeografia. Rev. Bras. Entomol. 47 (3): 311-372
Camargo, J. M. F. & Pedro, S. R. M. (2004). Meliponini neotropicais: o gênero Ptilotrigona Moure (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Apinae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 48 (3): 353-377
Camargo, J. M. F. & Pedro, S. R. M. (2005). Meliponini neotropicais: o gênero Dolichotrigona Moure (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Apinae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 49 (1): 69-92
Camargo, J. M. F. & Pedro, S. R. M. (2009). Neotropical Meliponini: the genus Celetrigona Moure (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Apinae). Zootaxa 2155: 37-54
Ducke, A. (1916). Enumeração dos Hymenopteros colligidos pela Comissão e Revisão das espécies de abelhas do Brasil. Comm. Lin. Teleg. Estr. M. Gr. ao Amazonas 35: 3-171
Ducke, A. (1925). Die stachellosen Bienen (Melipona) Brasiliens, Nach morphologischen und ethologischen Merkmalen geordnet. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 49: 335-448
Marchi, P. & Melo, G. A. R. (2006). Revisão taxonômica das espécies brasileiras de abelhas do gênero Lestrimelitta Friese (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponina). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 50 (1): 6-30
Michener, C. D. (1990). Classification of the Apidae (Hymenoptera). Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 54 (4): 75-164
Michener, C. D. (2000). The bees of the World. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press 913 pp.
Moure, J. S. (1951). Notas sôbre Meliponinae (Hymenopt. - Apoidea). Dusenia 2 (1): 25-70
Moure, J. S. (1961). A Preliminary Supra-specific Classification of the Old World meliponine bees (Hym., Apoidea). Stud. Entomol. (Rio de Janeiro) 4 (1-4): 181-242
Pedro, S. R. M. & Camargo, J. M. F. (2003). Meliponini neotropicais: o gênero Partamona Schwarz, 1939 (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 47 (Supl. 1): 1-117
Pedro, S. R. M. & Camargo, J. M. F. (2009). Neotropical Meliponini: the genus Leurotrigona Moure - two new species (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Apinae). Zootaxa 1983: 23-44
Roubik, D. W., Lobo Segura, J. A. & Camargo, J. M. F. (1997). New stingless bee genus endemic to Central American cloudforest: phylogenetic and biogeographic implications (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini). Syst. Entomol. 22: 67-80
Schwarz, H. F. (1932). The genus Melipona the type genus of the Meliponidae or stingless bees. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 63 (4): 231-460
Schwarz, H. F. (1948). Stingless bees (Meliponidae) of the Western Hemisphere. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 90: xvii+546
Wille, A. (1979). Phylogeny and relationships among the genera and subgenera of the stingless bees (Meliponinae) of the world. Revista de Biologia Tropical 27 (2): 241-277

How to cite this page
J. M. F. Camargo & S. R. M. Pedro, 2013. Meliponini Lepeletier, 1836. In Moure, J. S., Urban, D. & Melo, G. A. R. (Orgs). Catalogue of Bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) in the Neotropical Region - online version. Available at Accessed Oct/28/2021

Online since: 23 Jul 2008
Last update : 17 Jun 2013

APIDAE ›› Apinae

Available Genus

  • Aparatrigona 
  • Camargoia 
  • Celetrigona 
  • Cephalotrigona 
  • Dolichotrigona 
  • Duckeola 
  • Friesella 
  • Frieseomelitta 
  • Geotrigona 
  • Lestrimelitta 
  • Leurotrigona 
  • Melipona 
  • Meliwillea 
  • Mourella 
  • Nannotrigona 
  • Nogueirapis 
  • Oxytrigona 
  • Parapartamona 
  • Paratrigona 
  • Paratrigonoides 
  • Partamona 
  • Plebeia 
  • Proplebeia 
  • Ptilotrigona 
  • Scaptotrigona 
  • Scaura 
  • Schwarziana 
  • Schwarzula 
  • Tetragona 
  • Tetragonisca 
  • Trichotrigona 
  • Trigona 
  • Trigonisca 

  • Incertae sedis