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Volume 35, Number 6, November-December 2004
Page(s) 611 - 618
Apidologie 35 (2004) 611-618
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004052

Workers of the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris are more similar to males than to queens in their cuticular compounds

Warwick E. Kerra, Harald Jungnickelb, c and E. David Morganb

a  Instituto de Genética e Bioquímica, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, 38400-902-Uberlândia MG, Brazil
b  Chemical Ecology Group, Lennard-Jones Laboratory, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
c  Present address: Department of Chemistry, UMIST, Sackville Street, Manchester M60 1QD, UK

(Received 16 December 2003; revised 11 March 2004; accepted 17 March 2004)

Abstract - The cuticular compounds from the wings of workers, males and queens of the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris Latreille 1811 were analysed by combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. This has shown that males, queens and workers have different patterns, but that the pattern of workers is much closer to that of males than it is to queens, supporting other evidence from morphology and behavior that Meliponinae workers are more similar to males than to queens.

Key words: Meliponinae / cuticular signature / polyphenism / hydrocarbons / caste

Corresponding author: E. David Morgan

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004