Free access
Volume 25, Number 2, 1994
F. Ruttner 80th birthday
Page(s) 224 - 238
Apidologie 25 (1994) 224-238
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19940209

Mating flights, number of spermatozoa, sperm transfer and degree of polyandry in Apis koschevnikovi (Buttel-Reepen, 1906)

G. Koenigera, N. Koenigera and S. Tingekb

a  Institut für Bienenkunde, Polytechnische Gesellschaft, FB Biologie an der JW Goethe-Universität, K-v-Frisch-Weg 2,61440 Oberursel, Germany
b  Agricultural Research Station Tenom, PO Box 197, 89908 Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia

Abstract - In Apis koschevnikovi drones and queens leave the colony for mating. Drones left the hive between 16.45 h and 18.30 h. The flight duration of drones varied between less than 1 min and 27 min. Drone flights longer than 10 min occurred mainly at the end of the flight time between 17.45 h and 18.15 h. Queens left the hive between 17.00 h and 18.15 h. Here, too, mating flights (return with a mating sign) occurred at the end of the flight period (17.53 h and 18.29 h). The flight duration of these flights was 19 ± 5 min. The oviducts of queens with a mating sign contained 12-21 mio spermatozoa after one mating flight. Since a mature drone has 1.7 ± 0.16 mio spermatozoa, this indicated multiple mating with 7-12 drones during one flight. The spermathecae contained 2-3 mio spermatozoa. The mating sign had no chitin plates. A comparison of reproductive data resulted in close similarities between A cerana and A koschevnikovi.

Key words: mating flight / number of spermatozoa / polyandry / A koschevnikovi