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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Interspecific chemical communication in raids of the robber bee Lestrimelitta limao

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von Zuben, L. G. [1, 2] ; Schorkopf, D. L. P. [3] ; Elias, L. G. [1] ; Vaz, A. L. L. [4] ; Favaris, A. P. [5] ; Clososki, G. C. [4] ; Bento, J. M. S. [5] ; Nunes, T. M. [4]
Total Authors: 8
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Fac Filosofia Ciencias & Letras Ribeirao Preto, Dept Biol, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Univ Lausanne, Biophore, Dept Ecol & Evolut, CH-1015 Lausanne - Switzerland
[3] Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Plant Protect Biol, Unit Chem Ecol, Alnarp - Sweden
[4] Univ Sao Paulo, Fac Ciencias Farmaceut Ribeirao Preto, Dept Quim & Fis, Nucleo Pesquisas Prod Nat & Sintet, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[5] Univ Sao Paulo, Escola Super Agr Luiz de Queiroz, Dept Entomol & Acarol, Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 5
Document type: Journal article
Source: Insectes Sociaux; v. 63, n. 2, p. 339-347, MAY 2016.
Web of Science Citations: 4

Most social bees collect floral resources to obtain proteins and carbohydrates. However, the obligate cleptoparasite stingless bee Lestrimelitta limao, the so-called robber bee, is a rare exception as it collects resources by raiding other stingless bee nests. The mechanisms these bees use to overcome host colony defenses are poorly understood. Many host species retreat inside the nest during L. limao attacks and the signals triggering this behavior require a better understanding. While some researchers have proposed that robber bees release chemical compounds that are responsible for host retreat, others have hypothesized that the observed behavior results from communication among host workers. In order to investigate the role of interspecific signals in raids, we tested the effects of robber bees' mandibular and labial gland secretions on the behavior of Frieseomelitta varia workers. We combined behavioral assays with chemical and electrophysiological analyses. We found that citral and 9-nonacosene are major mandibular gland compounds and two esters, hexadecyl acetate and 9-hexadecenyl acetate, are major labial gland compounds. These three major compounds elicited electro-physiological responses on host worker antennae. Robber bee labial gland extracts repelled both foragers and guards, while mandibular gland content increased aggression. Our results suggest that interspecific communication plays a role during natural raids and that esters from L. limao labial glands, rather than citral, are more likely to trigger the host retreat. The results add to our knowledge about L. limao chemical communication and help to elucidate the mechanisms involved in their intriguing foraging strategy. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/22991-3 - Queen pheromones of stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini)
Grantee:Túlio Marcos Nunes
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 13/04766-8 - Applycation of new organometallic reagents in the functionalization of substances of synthetic interest
Grantee:Giuliano Cesar Clososki
Support type: Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 13/01918-1 - Role of the venom gland in fig wasps larval biology (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea)
Grantee:Larissa Galante Elias
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 10/10027-5 - Behavioural mediation, chemical signalisation and physiological aspects regulating the social organization in hymenopterans
Grantee:Fábio Santos do Nascimento
Support type: Research Grants - Young Investigators Grants
FAPESP's process: 10/04704-4 - Bionomic and eco-chemical determinants of cleptoparasitic behaviour of Lestrimelitta limao (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Meliponini).
Grantee:Lucas Garcia von Zuben
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master