Tarsal secretion marks food sources in bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

  • Schmitt U
  • Lübke G
  • Francke W
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Abstract

Scent-marking of artificial food sources by workers of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, was investi- gated. Odour marks deposited on artificial flowers were subsequently collected and chemically analysed. Alkanes and alkenes were identified as the main components. The behaviour mediating capacity of synthetic mixtures of the identified compounds was bioassayed using an artificial flower system. A mixture of alkanes and alkenes, close to natural proportions, released regular foraging behaviour. The reaction proved to be dose-dependent.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Apidae
  • Bombus terrestris
  • Hymenoptera
  • Insecta
  • hydrocarbons
  • scent-marking
  • tarsal glands

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Authors

  • Ulrich Schmitt

  • Gunther Lübke

  • Wittko Francke

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