Volatile substances of mandibular gland secretion of a stingless bee: Scaptotrigona postica latreille
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The composition of secretion of mandibular gland of Scaptotrigona postica was determined by gas chromatography and mass espectrometry and the composition in workers in different life phases, virgin queens and sexually mature males was compared. The secretion in all individual classes studied consists of a rich mixture of aliphatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, acetones and aldehydes. Although compounds were shared among the individuals studied, each class presented a particular secretion profile. The secretion of the forager worker contained the most varied composition, and that of virgin queen the least varied composition. Mandibular glands of forager workers and mature males produced secretions with similar profiles. The composition of the secretion is discussed in relation to individual's behavior.