Volume 34, Number 6, November-December 2003
|Page(s)||577 - 584|
Sperm numbers in drone honeybees (Apis mellifera) depend on body sizeHelge Schlünsa, Ellen A. Schlünsa, Job van Praaghb and Robin F.A. Moritza
a Institut für Zoologie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Kröllwitzer Str. 44, 06099 Halle (Saale), Germany
b Niedersächsisches Landesinstitut für Bienenkunde Celle, Herzogin-Eleonore-Allee 5, 29221 Celle, Germany
(Received 18 October 2002; revised 14 March 2003; accepted 22 April 2003)
The effect of drone honeybee's body size on semen production was evaluated. In the same colonies, drones were either reared in drone cells (large drones) or in worker cells (small drones). Wing lengths (size indicator) and sperm numbers of small and large drones were compared. Small drones (~13% reduced wing size) produce significantly fewer spermatozoa ( million) than normally sized drones ( million spermatozoa). There is a significant positive correlation between sperm number and wing size within the small drones and in both groups combined. In the large group alone no correlation was found. The rearing investment per spermatozoon is lower for small than for normally sized drones because small drones produce more spermatozoa in relation to their body weight. Since colonies usually produce large drones, the enhanced investment must be outweighed by a mating advantage of large drones.
Key words: Apis mellifera / spermatozoa / male size / small drone / large drone / reproductive success
Correspondence and reprints: Helge Schlüns email@example.com
© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2003
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.