We reported the sequence and characteristics of the complete mitochondrial genome of an ecologically important stingless bee, Lepidotrigona flavibasis (Hymenoptera: Meliponini), that has suffered serious population declines in recent years. A phylogenetic analysis based on complete mitogenomes indicated that L. flavibasis was first clustered with another Lepidotrigona species (L. terminata) and then joined with the other two Melipona (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) stingless bees (M. scutellaris and M. bicolor), forming a single clade of stingless bees. The stingless bee clade has a closer relationship with bumblebees (Bombus) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) than with honeybees (Apis) (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Extremely high gene rearrangements involving tRNAs, rRNAs, D-loop regions, and protein-coding genes were observed in the Lepidotrigona mitogenomes, suggesting an overactive evolutionary status in Lepidotrigona species. These mitogenomic organization variations could provide a good system with which to understand the evolutionary history of Meliponini.
- stingless bees