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Volume 32, Number 3, May-June 2001
Page(s) 243 - 252
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2001126

Apidologie 32 (2001) 243-252

Mandibular gland component analysis in the head extracts of Apis cerana and Apis nigrocincta

Christopher I. Keelinga, Gard W. Otisb, Soesilawati Hadisoesiloc and Keith N. Slessora

a  epartment of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada
b  Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
c  Pusat Litbang Hutan dan Konservasi Alam, Jl. Gunung Batu No. 5, Bogor, Indonesia

(Received 5 September 2000; revised 26 February 2001; accepted 28 February 2001)

Head extracts of workers and mated queens of the closely related species of Apis cerana and A. nigrocincta from Sulawesi, Indonesia were quantitatively analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for several mandibular gland components. The amounts of many compounds were significantly different between species for both queens and workers. Quantities of 10 of the 16 compounds quantified in queen bees differed significantly between the two species. Of the three known mandibular gland retinue pheromone components in A. cerana queens [(E)-9-oxodec-2-enoic acid (9-ODA), (E)-9-hydroxydec-2-enoic acid (9-HDA), and methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (HOB)], the amounts of 9-HDA and HOB were significantly different between species. Quantities of 6 of the 11 compounds quantified in worker bees differed significantly between the two species. This quantitative analysis supports the hypothesis that A. cerana and A. nigrocincta are indeed separate species.

Key words: Apis cerana / Apis nigrocincta / honey bee / mandibular gland / pheromone

Correspondence and reprints: Christopher I. Keeling

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2001