Territorial or wandering: how males of Protodiscelis palpalis (Colletidae, Paracolletinae) behave in searching for mates.
Females of Protodiscelis palpalis are oligolectic on flowers of the aquatic herb Hydrocleys martii (Limnocharitaceae), commonly found in Northeast Brazil. Each morning, 1 h before anthesis, males fight to guard small patches of flowers, which will compose their territories. Non-territorial males are not bound to certain areas on their patrol flights, roam between different territories and do not engage in conflicts with conspecific males. Territorial males aggressively defend flowers only in a restricted, intensely patrolled part of the territory. This core area was never shared with other territorial males. The intensive patrolling of a territory sector may be a response to abundant territorial invasions by conspecific males. Being territorial seems to confer reproductive advantages to the males. However, the severe male competition and the extreme spatio-temporal aggregation of resource flowers observed in the temporary water bodies of the Caatinga obscure which mating strategy provides higher male reproductive success.