n African Entomology - Nest and nestmate recognition cues in a primitively social bee, Allodape rufogastra Lepeletier & Serville (Hymenoptera : Apidae)
|Article Title||Nest and nestmate recognition cues in a primitively social bee, Allodape rufogastra Lepeletier & Serville (Hymenoptera : Apidae)|
|© Publisher:||Entomological Society of South Africa (ESSA)|
|Author||L. Bennett, L.X. Silberbauer and R.M. Crewe|
|Publication Date||Mar 2006|
|Pages||175 - 183|
|Keyword(s)||Allodape rufogastra, Allodapine, Bees, Hymenoptera, Kin recognition, Nest recognition and South Africa|
Nest and nestmate recognition cues were investigated in the primitively social South African allodapine bee, Allodape rufogastra. Nest owners were able to distinguish between resident and non-resident bees, and engaged in significantly more agonistic interactions with non-residents. Combined GC-MS analysis of extract of head extracts showed it to contain a series of fatty acids and long-chain hydrocarbons. The relative abundances of compounds differed between individuals, suggesting that secretions from the head may partially serve as a nestmate recognition cue. Bees were also able to distinguish their nests from conspecific nests. Combined GC-MS of extracts taken from nest collars revealed nest-specific blends of compounds that would facilitate nest identification and discrimination. Recognition of nestmates and the home nest are important precursors to more sophisticated social interactions and communal organization.
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