Dufour's gland possible role in the evolution of sting morphology and function in hover wasps (Hymenoptera Stenogastrinae)

Angelo Fortunato, Stefano Turillazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The sting is the most effective defense of social Hymenoptera against vertebrate predators but in the hover wasps (subfamily Stenogastrinae) it is scarcely used. In these wasps a quite enlarged Dufour's gland and the extensive use of its secretion in the peculiar rearing of the larvae and defense determined important morphological modifications of the sting structure. Connecting anatomical and morphological data with behavioral observations we determined that in these wasps the Dufour's gland secretion is attached to the egg during oviposition but can be also channeled to the outside via the sting when it is collected by adult females for larval rearing or construction of the nest ant guards. The anatomical modifications of the sting reduced the function of the sting as a defensive weapon in hover wasps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalArthropod Structure and Development
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dufour's gland
  • Stenogastrinae
  • Sting apparatus
  • Venom gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Insect Science

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