Document Detail

Pheromone paths attached to the substrate in meliponine bees: helpful but not obligatory for recruitment success.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21445619     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
In contrast to marking of the location of resources or sexual partners using single-spot pheromone sources, pheromone paths attached to the substrate and assisting orientation are rarely found among flying organisms. However, they do exist in meliponine bees (Apidae, Apinae, Meliponini), commonly known as stingless bees, which represent a group of important pollinators in tropical forests. Worker bees of several Neotropical meliponine species, especially in the genus Scaptotrigona Moure 1942, deposit pheromone paths on substrates between highly profitable resources and their nest. In contrast to past results and claims, we find that these pheromone paths are not an indispensable condition for successful recruitment but rather a means to increase the success of recruiters in persuading their nestmates to forage food at a particular location. Our results are relevant to a speciation theory in scent path-laying meliponine bees, such as Scaptotrigona. In addition, the finding that pheromone path-laying bees are able to recruit to food locations even across barriers such as large bodies of water affects tropical pollination ecology and theories on the evolution of resource communication in insect societies with a flying worker caste.
Dirk Louis P Schorkopf; Linde Morawetz; José M S Bento; Ronaldo Zucchi; Friedrich G Barth
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-3-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1351     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-3-29     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101141792     Medline TA:  J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Neurobiology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090, Vienna, Austria,
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