Free Access
Volume 32, Number 4, July-August 2001
Page(s) 355 - 361
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2001135

Apidologie 32 (2001) 355-361

Ovarian activation in Melipona quadrifasciata queens triggered by mating plug stimulation (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

Gabriel A.R. Meloa, Maria Luisa T. Buschinib and Lucio A.O. Camposc

a  Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Cx. Postal 19020, 81531-990, Curitiba, PR, Brazil
b  Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste, Rua Presidente Zacarias 875, 85015-430, Guarapuava, PR, Brazil
c  Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-001, Viçosa, MG, Brazil

(Received 20 April 2000; revised 22 March 2001; accepted 9 April 2001)

The effect of the detached male genital capsule on ovarian activation in queens of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata , and the amount of time the genital capsule remains attached to the queen genital chamber after mating, were investigated. Twenty-four controlled matings were carried out and the male capsules were manually removed at preset time intervals. The results indicate that the experimental removal of the mating plug on the first three days after mating inhibits ovarian activation or strongly decreases the chances that it will happen. After this period it would not affect ovarian activation, despite continuing to be attached to the queen for a few more days. It is suggested that the male genital capsule provides mechanical stimulation only.

Key words: Hymenoptera / Melipona quadrifasciata / stingless bees / ovarian development

Correspondence and reprints: Gabriel A.R. Melo

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2001