The Stingless Bee Melipona solani Deposits a Signature Mixture and Methyl Oleate to Mark Valuable Food Sources
Periodo de realización: 2017/06/01 al 2017/01/01
Tipo: Artículo científico
Lugar(es) de estudio: Tapachula, Chis., México, Tuxtla Chico, Chis., México
Resumen: "Stingless bees foraging for food improve recruitment by depositing chemical cues on valuable food sites or pheromone marks on vegetation. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and bioassays, we showed that Melipona solani foragers leave a mixture composed mostly of long chain hydrocarbons from their abdominal cuticle plus methyl oleate from the labial gland as a scent mark on rich food sites. The composition of hydrocarbons was highly variable among individuals and varied in proportions, depending on the body part. A wide ratio of compounds present in different body parts of the bees elicited electroantennogram responses from foragers and these responses were dose dependent. Generally, in bioassays, these bees prefer to visit previously visited feeders and feeders marked with extracts from any body part of conspecifics. The mean number of visits to a feeder was enhanced when synthetic methyl oleate was added. We propose that this could be a case of multi-source odor marking, in which hydrocarbons, found in large abundance, act as a signature mixture with attraction enhanced through deposition of methyl oleate, which may indicate a rich food source."