Free access
Volume 21, Number 3, 1990
Page(s) 185 - 191
Apidologie 21 (1990) 185-191
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19900303

Cornual secretion on the endophallus of the honeybee drone (Apis mellifera L)

G. Koenigera, M. Wissela and W. Herthb

a  Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Institut für Biochemie, JW Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, K-von-Frisch-Weg 2, D-6370 Oberursel, FRG
b  Zellenlehre, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 230, D-6900 Heidelberg, FRG

Abstract - The orange cornual layer of the drone's endophallus is produced by gland cells in the epithelium of the comua. The occurrence of its pigment is age-dependent as newly emerged drones have no pigmentation, and all colony drones older than 4 d had orange comua during the reproductive season (May and June). The absorbancy spectrum of the pigments extracted in dioxane has maxima at 300 nm, 380 nm and 500 nm. In extracts from 4-d-old drones, the amount of absorbing substances was less than in extracts from 12-d-old drones, although all types of pigments were present. The production of the pigments is related to seasonal fluctuation.

Key words: Apis mellifera / drone / endophallus / cornual secretion / pigment