Effect of delayed mating on spermathecal activation in Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides (Hymenoptera, Apidae) queensEdmilson Amaral Souza1, Lúcio Antônio Oliviera Campos1, Clóvis Andrade Neves1, José Cola Zanuncio2 and José Eduardo Serrão1
1 Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-000 Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
2 Departamento de Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-000 Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Received 11 July 2007 - Revised 29 October 2007 - Accepted 30 October 2007 - Published online 10 April 2008
Abstract - In this work, we examined the effect of delayed mating on spermathecal development in Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides queens. The histology and histochemistry of the spermatheca of virgin queens zero, 15, 20, and 30 days old and physogastric queens were compared. There were no significant differences in the thickness of the epithelium and the volume of the spermathecal reservoir among virgin queens of different ages. However, physogastric queens had more voluminous spermathecae and thinner epithelia than virgin queens. The structure of the spermathecal glands was also influenced by mating. These findings suggest that mating leads to activation of the spermatheca and its glands.
Key words: mating / spermatheca / stingless bees / virgin queen
© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008