An evolutionary approach to mating behaviour and drone copulatory organs in ApisN. Koenigera and G. Koenigerb
a Universität Frankfurt aM, Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Fachbereich Biologie der JW Goethe- Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, 637 Oberursel 1, Germany
b Universität Frankfurt aM, Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Fachbereich Biologie der JW Goethe- Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, 637 Oberursel 1, Germanry
Abstract - Copulation in free flight seems to be a common character of all Apis species. Analysis of mating behaviour in A mellifera revealed the typical behavioural sequence of mating on a substrate in Apoidea. The connection between the queen and the paralyzed drone is mainly achieved by the endophallus. By special adhesive organs on the hind legs of the drone, A dorsata has developed an additional means of attachment to the queen. A andreniformis and A florea drones have reduced the mass of mucus and seem to depend mainly on the hind legs for the copulatory connection to the queen. The A florea endophallus, freed from its mechanical function , can place its tip in the optimal position: sperm is transferred directly into the spermaduct rather than into the oviducts . The opposite polarity - an evolution from substrate mating to an A florea type and then to an A cerana and A mellifera type lacks of any functional support.
Key words: evolution / mating behaviour / copulation / Apis