Free Access
Volume 28, Number 3-4, 1997
Page(s) 113 - 122
Apidologie 28 (1997) 113-122
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19970302

Dwarf gynes in Nannotrigona testaceicornis (Apidae, Meliponinae, Trigonini). Behaviour, exocrine gland morphology and reproductive status

V.L. Imperatriz-Fonsecaa, C. Cruz-Landimb and R.L.M. Silva de Moraesb

a  Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, CP 11461, CEP 05508-900, São Paulo
b  Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Estadual Paulista, CP 199, CEP 13506-900, Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract - The behaviour and morphology of dwarf gynes produced in worker-sized cells of normal colonies in Nannotrigona testaceicornis (Meliponinae, Trigonini) were studied. The behaviour of these dwarf virgin queens was the same as observed for normal Trigonine gynes. The glandular equipment is also the same: Dufour glands, fat bodies and spermathecae are present. Despite these similarities, their ovaries are different. The functional significance of dwarf gynes is unknown, but may be a basis for an alternative reproductive strategy.

Key words: dwarf gynes / larval food / reproductive strategies / stingless bees / Trigonini / Nannotrigona testaceicornis