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Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales

versión On-line ISSN 1853-0400


CACCAVARI, Marta  y  CILLA, Gabriela. Removal new alternative to chemical and mechanical removal for the study of pollen carried on the wild bee scopae. Rev. Mus. Argent. Cienc. Nat. [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.2, pp. 255-262. ISSN 1853-0400.

Taxonomic recognition and quantification of the different pollen types collected by bees offer the most direct method to study the diet. To determine the importance of each plant taxon, it is necessary to separate the pollen deposited only in the collecting structures in order to minimize contamination of grains collected passively in other parts of the body. The technique currently applied is based on the mechanical removal of the pollen loads with dissecting needles and repeated washings with ethanol. Metathoracic scopae that underwent this procedure showed traces of pollen in varying amounts when observed under the microscope. As an alternative to this technique chemical removal using HOK is proposed. The leg is removed and treated separatedly to avoid contamination. The deflocculant properties of HOK successfully allowed to separate the pollen adhered to the scopae, which can be then returned to the individual, unaffected by the procedure. Suspend the pollen in a know quantity of mounting fluid permit take the subsamples and determine the total number of pollen grains of each taxon. In this paper, the new technique is presented and its effectiveness is compared to the technique currenty used.

Palabras clave : Pollen; Wild bees; Collecting structures; Diet; Mechanical removal; Chemical removal.

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