Mandibular glands of stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae): Chemical analysis of their contents and biological function in two species of Melipona

B. H. Smith, D. W. Roubik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Workers of Melipona fasciata and M. interrupta triplaridis respond to their respective mandibular gland extracts with alarm recruitment and defensive behavior. Workers rapidly exit from the nest entrance, land on an intruding object, and bite with the mandibles while vibrating the flight muscles. These behaviors are accompanied by the release of the contents of the mandibular glands. Colonies of both species exhibited greater response to their own mandibular gland extracts than to those of other stingless bee species. Chemical analysis identified 2-heptanol as the major component in hexane extracts of each species. Undecane was a constituent of both species; skatole and nerol were identified only in extracts of M. i. triplaridis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1465-1472
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 2-heptanol
  • Apidae
  • Hymenoptera
  • Melipona
  • alarm response
  • mandibular glands
  • nerol
  • skatole
  • stingless bees
  • undecane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

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