Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Species Tetragonula carbonaria (Smith, 1854)




New South Wales, Queensland

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


NSW, Qld: Brigalow Belt North (BBN), Brigalow Belt South (BBS), Cobar Peneplain (CP), Cape York Peninsula (CYP), Desert Uplands (DEU), Darling Riverine Plains (DRP), Einasleigh Uplands (EIU), Gulf Plains (GUP), Mount Isa Inlier (MII), Mulga Lands (ML), Nandewar (NAN), New England Tablelands (NET), NSW North Coast (NNC), South Eastern Queensland (SEQ)

Ecological Descriptors

Adult: mellivore, volant.

Extra Ecological Information

Social insects, living in large colonies, with female reproductive and worker castes, nests of wax and resin with a spiral brood comb in trunks of large (average diameter 55 cm), dead or alive, standing trees, or in specially constructed boxes, flower visiting record: fruit trees, sunflowers, Ageratum L. [Asteraceae], Alocasia (Schott) G. Don [Araceae], Angophora Cav. [Myrtaceae], Banksia L.f. [Proteaceae], Callistemon R.Br. [Myrtaceae], Claoxylon A. Juss. [Euphorbiaceae], Cupaniopsis Radlk. [Sapindaceae], Cycas L. [Cycadaceae], Cymbidium Sw. [Orchidaceae], Daviesia Sm. [Fabaceae], Dendrobium Sw. [Orchidaceae], Eucalyptus L'Hérit. [Myrtaceae], Hibbertia Andrews [Dilleniaceae], Jacksonia Smith [Fabaceae], Leptospermum Forster & G.Forster [Myrtaceae], Melaleuca L. [Myrtaceae], Melastoma L. [Melastomataceae], Nymphaea L. [Nymphaeaceae], Oxylobium Andrews [Fabaceae], Persoonia Sm. [Proteaceae], Podolepis Labill. [Asteraceae], Pultenaea Sm. [Fabaceae], Rubus L. [Rosaceae], Telopea R.Br. [Proteaceae], Xanthorrhoea Sm. [Xanthorrhoeaceae].


General References

Adams, P.B., Bartareau, T. & Walker, K.L. 1992. Pollination of Australian orchids by Trigona (Tetragona) Jurine bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Australian Entomological Magazine 19(4): 97-101 [100] (as pollinators)

Anderson, D. & Gibbs, A. 1982. Viruses and Australian native bees. Australasian Beekeeper 83: 131-134 [Date published 31/12/1982] ([Date published 31/12/1982] as biology)

Barrett, P. 1999. The Immigrant Bees 1788 to 1898. Volume 2. An update on the Introduction of European Honeybees into Australia and New Zealand. Springwood, NSW : P. Barrett 164 pp. [13-14] (biology, early reference to nest)

Bartareau, T. 1993. Pollination of Australian epiphytic orchids by Trigona Jurine bees in North-east Queensland. pp. 85-89 in Harris, W.K. & Grundon, N.J. Proceedings of the Second Australasian Native Orchid Conference and Show 1993. Toowoomba, Qld : Native Orchid Society of Toowoomba 100 pp. [86]

Bartareau, T. 1994. The reproductive ecology of Dendrobium toressae (Bailey) Dockr., a geographically restricted species in north-east Queensland. Orchadian 11(3): 106-111 [Date published March] [108] ([Date published March] (pollinator))

Bartareau, T. 1995. The pollination of Cymbidium madidum Lindley and C. suave R.Br. by native bees - a case of floral reward deception? Orchadian 11(10): 487-495 [Date published December] [488] ([Date published December] pollinator)

Bartareau, T. 1996. Foraging behaviour of Trigona carbonaria (Hymenoptera: Apidae) at multiple choice feeding stations. Australian Journal of Zoology 44(2): 143-153 [143] (biology)

Bernhardt, P. & Weston, P.H. 1996. The pollination ecology of Persoonia (Proteaceae) in eastern Australia. Telopea 6(4): 775-804 [789] (flower record)

Cockerell, T.D.A. 1929. Bees in the Queensland Museum. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 9: 298-323 [Date published 31/12/1929] ([Date published 31/12/1929] taxonomy)

Disney, R.H.L. & Bartareau, T. 1995. A new species of Dohrniphora (Diptera: Phoridae) associated with a stingless bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Australia. Sociobiology 26(3): 229-239 [229] (biology, feeds on bees provisions)

Dollin, A.E., Dollin, L.J. & Sakagami, S.F. 1997. Australian stingless bees of the genus Trigona (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 11: 861-896 [878] (redescription, biology)

Evans, H.E. & Hook, A.W. 1982. Communal nesting in the digger wasp Cerceris australis (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 30: 557-568

Evans, H.E. & Matthews, R.W. 1973. Systematics and nesting behavior of Australian Bembix sand wasps (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae). Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 20: iv, 1-387 [Date published 31/12/1973] (as prey)

Fain, A. & Heard, T.A. 1987. Description and life cycle of Cerophagus trigona spec. nov. (Acari, Acaridae), associated with the stingless bee Trigona carbonaria Smith in Australia. Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique 57: 197-202 ([Date published 31/12/1987] biology)

Franck, P. in Franck, P., Cameron, E., Good, G., Rasplus, J.-Y. & Oldroyd, B.P. 2004. Nest architecture and genetic differentiation in a species complex of Australian stingless bees. Molecular Ecology 13: 2317-2331 (species-specific nest architecture)

Friese, H. 1912. Zur Bienenfauna von Neu-Guinea und Oceania. Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum in Berlin 6: 93-96 [Date published 31/12/1912] (distribution)

Goebel, R.L. 1986. Australian native bees. Queensland Agricultural Journal 112: 285-286 [Date published 31/12/1986] (biology, illustration)

Hawkeswood, T.J. 1983. Pollination and fruit production of Cupaniopsis anacardioides (A. Rich.) Radlkf. (Sapindaceae) at Townsville, North Queensland. 1. Pollination and floral biology. Victorian Naturalist 100: 12-20 [Date published 31/12/1983] (flower record)

Heard, T.A. 1988. Propagation of hives of Trigona carbonaria Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 27: 303-304 [Date published 31/12/1988] (biology)

Heard, T.A. & Hendrikz, J.K. 1993. Factors influencing flight activity of colonies of the stingless bee Trigona carbonaria (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 41(4): 343-353 [343] (biology)

Hockings, H.J. 1884. Notes on two Australian species of Trigona. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1884: 149-157 [Date published 31/12/1884] (biology, under aboriginal name 'karbi)

McKenzie, E. 1975. Growing up with aborigines. Queensland Naturalist 21: 46-51 [Date published 31/12/1975] (honey)

Michener, C.D. 1961. Observations on the nests and behavior of Trigona in Australia and New Guinea (Hymenoptera, Apidae). American Museum Novitates 2026: 1-46 [Date published 31/12/1961] (biology, as Trigona (Tetragona) carbonaria Smith, 1854)

Michener, C.D. 1965. A classification of the bees of the Australian and South Pacific regions. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 130: 1-362 [Date published 31/12/1965] (flower record, as Trigona (Tetragona) carbonaria Smith, 1854)

Michener, C.D. 1974. The Social Behaviour of the Bees. A comparative study. Cambridge : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 404 pp. [Date published 31/12/1974] (biology)

Michener, C.D. 1990. Classification of the Apidae (Hymenoptera). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 54: 75-164 [Date published 31/12/1990] (generic placement, illustration)

Milborrow, B.V., Kennedy, J.M. & Dollin A. 1987. Composition of wax made by the Australian stingless bee Trigona australis. Australian Journal of Biological Sciences 40: 15-25 [Date published 31/12/1987] (resin collection)

Moure, J.S. 1961. A preliminary supra-specific classification of the Old World meliponine bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). Studia Entomologica ns 4: 181-242 [Date published 31/12/1961] (as Tetragonula carbonaria (Smith, 1854))

Nieh, J.C., Tautz, J., Spaethe, J. & Bartareau, T. 2000. The communication of food location by a primitive stingless bee, Trigona carbonaria. Zoology (Jena) 102: 238-246 [238]

Ornduff, R. 1991. Size classes, reproductive behaviour and insect associates of Cycas media (Cycadaceae) in Australia. Botanical Gazette 152(2): 203-207 [207] (flower record)

Rayment, T. 1932. The stingless bees of Australia. 2. The architecture. Victorian Naturalist 48: 203-212 [Date published 31/12/1932] (biology)

Rayment, T. 1932. The stingless bees of Australia. 6. The finding of a new species. Victorian Naturalist 49: 104-107 [Date published 31/12/1932] (taxonomy)

Rayment, T. 1935. A Cluster of Bees. Sixty essays on the life-histories of Australian bees, with specific descriptions of over 100 new species, and an introduction by Professor E.F. Phillips, D.Ph., Cornell University, U.S.A. Sydney : Endeavour Press. 752 pp. (biology)

Rayment, T. 1961. A tiny bee (Trigona carbonaria) and a very large flower (Telopea). Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales 1958–59: 96-97 [Date published 31/12/1961] (biology)

Shaw, D.E. & Cantrell, B.K. 1983. A study of the pollination of Alocasia macrorrhiza (L.) G. Don (Araceae) in southeast Queensland. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 106: 323-335 [Date published 31/12/1983] (flower records)

Slater, A.T. & Calder, D.M. 1988. The pollination biology of Dendrobium speciosum Smith: a case of false advertising? Australian Journal of Botany 36: 145-158 [Date published 31/12/1988] (pollination)

Smith, F. 1863. Exhibitions etc. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London 3 1: 171, 174, 181 [Date published 31/12/1863] (biology)

Wagner, A. & Dollin, L. 1982. Probing the mysteries of the N.S.W. native bees. Australasian Beekeeper 83: 157-161 [Date published 31/12/1982] (biology)

Wagner, A.E. & Briscoe, D.A. 1983. An absence of enzyme variability within two species of Trigona (Hymenoptera). Heredity 50: 97-103 [Date published 31/12/1983] (genetic variability)

Wallace, H.M. & Trueman, H.J. 1995. Dispersal of Eucalyptus torelliana seeds by the resin-collecting stingless bee, Trigona carbonaria. Oecologia (Berlin) 104(1): 12-16 [Date published September] (biology)

White, D., Cribb, B.W. & Heard, T.A. 2001. Flower constancy of the stingless bee Trigona carbonaria Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini). Australian Journal of Entomology 40(1): 61-64

Williams, G.A. & Adam, P. 1997. The composition of the bee (Apoidea: Hymenoptera) fauna visiting flowering trees in New South Wales lowland subtropical rainforest remnants. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 118: 69-95 (interaction with introduced honeybee)

Yamane, S., Heard, T.A. & S.F. Sakagami 1995. Oviposition behavior of the stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponinae) XVI. Trigona (Tetragonula) carbonaria endemic to Australia, with a highly integrated oviposition process. Japanese Journal of Entomology 63(2): 275-296


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
03-Dec-2015 Meliponini 23-Jun-2016 MODIFIED Lyn Randall
29-Aug-2012 ADDED