Bees and sawflies of Ecuador
The aim of the project is to launch a taxonomic study on two groups of Hymenoptera insects, bees and sawflies, in Ecuador.
Bees are of prime and worldwide importance because of their role as pollinators in nearly each terrestrial ecosystem, and they are recognized as top priority group in the ‘Biodiversity Convention’ (The Sao Paulo Declaration on Pollinators, from 1999). The larvae of some sawfly species have a significant economic impact since they caused the death of livestock in three continents including South America. However, the taxonomy and ecology of Ecuadorian bees and sawflies deserve further attention, especially for those species living at high altitude (over 2,500 m).
The first identified partner in Ecuador will be the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL). This partner recently launched a research collection of insects that the partner wishes to develop significantly in the next years. The goal of the GTI project is to establish strong collaborative links, including by training, between Ecuadorian institutions and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the parties being solely interested in such non-commercial biodiversity research.