~35 species; see text
Plebeia is a small genus of stingless bees, formerly including in the genus Trigona. Most of the 35 species are placed in the subgenus (Plebeia) (s.s.), but there are four species in the subgenus (Scaura) and a single species, Plebeia quadripunctata, in the subgenus (Schwarziana). They differ in only minor structural details, primarily of the hind leg, from other genera that were formerly treated as constituents of Trigona.
One species in this genus has been studied in some detail regarding its caste determination system. In Plebeia quadripunctata, although less than 1% of female worker cells produce dwarf queens, they comprise six out of seven queen bees, and one out of five proceed to head colonies of their own. They are reproductively active but less fecund than large queens.
- Michener, C.D. (2000). The Bees of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press.