Free Access
Volume 31, Number 1, January-Febuary 2000
Page(s) 55 - 66
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2000106

Apidologie 31 (2000) 55-66

How queen-like are the tergal glands in workers of Apis mellifera capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata?

Theresa C. Wossler ${^{\rm a}}$, R.B. Veale ${^{\rm b}}$, Robin M. Crewe ${^{\rm a}}$

${^{\rm a}}$Communication Biology Research Group, Department of Zoology, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
${^{\rm b}}$Developmental Biology Research Group, Department of Zoology University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa

(Received 2 March 1998; revised 16 March 1999, accepted 13 September 1999)


Tergal gland morphology was investigated for Apis mellifera capensis and A. m. scutellata virgin queens and workers. Workers exhibit two types of tergal glands. Type-A glands consist of single cells, are located along the anterior edge of the tergites II-V, characterised by numerous mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum, and closely associated with fat cells and oenocytes. Type-B tergal glands are bicellular and found predominantly in capensis queens and workers and in scutellata queens. These type-B glands occur along the posterior edge of tergites II-V and are characterised by secretory cells with numerous mitochondria, end apparatuses, and secretory vesicles. There were no differences in gland location or structure in the honeybee queens of both races. However capensis workers possess more glands of both types and larger type-A gland cells than scutellata workers. This result further emphasises the distinctiveness of Cape honeybees.

A. m. capensis / A. m. scutellata / tergal gland / secretory cell / duct cell / ultrastructure

Correspondence and reprints: Theresa C. Wossler

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