Document Detail

Bumble bees alert to food with pheromone from tergal gland.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12548429     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Foragers of Bombus terrestris are able to alert their nestmates to the presence of food sources. It has been supposed that this happens at least partially through the distribution of a pheromone inside the nest. We substantiate this claim using a behavioral test in which an alerting signal is transmitted from one colony to another by long distance air transport, so excluding all other modalities of information exchange. We then investigated the source of the pheromone and were able to show that a hexane extract from tergites V-VII of bumble bee workers elicits higher activity, like a successful forager does. Extracts from other glands, such as the mandibular, labial, hypopharyngeal, and Dufour's gland as well as extracts from other parts of the cuticle had no effect. This suggests that bumble bees possess a pheromone-producing gland, similar to the Nasanov gland in honey bees. Indeed, an extract from the honey bee Nasanov gland also proved to alert bumble bee workers, suggesting a possible homology of the glands.
A Dornhaus; A Brockmann; L Chittka
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2002-12-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology     Volume:  189     ISSN:  0340-7594     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Comp. Physiol. A Neuroethol. Sens. Neural. Behav. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2003 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-01-27     Completed Date:  2003-03-28     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101141792     Medline TA:  J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  47-51     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Behavioral Physiology and Sociobiology, University of Würzburg, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Endocrine Glands / secretion*
Exocrine Glands / secretion
Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
Hypopharynx / secretion
Insect Hormones / biosynthesis,  classification
Mandible / secretion
Motor Activity / drug effects
Pheromones / pharmacology*
Time Factors
Tissue Extracts / pharmacology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Insect Hormones; 0/Pheromones; 0/Tissue Extracts

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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