Morphology of Richards' Gland in the Wasp Metapolybia docilis
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Richards gland in the epiponine wasp Metapolybia docilis occurs at the anterior side of the 5(th) abdominal sternite, and is formed by approx. 360 secretory cells. The cells discharge their secretory products through accompanying duct cells into a reservoir that is formed by the invaginated intersegmental membrane between the 4(th) and 5(th) sternites. The ultrastructural characteristics of the secretory cells are indicative for the production of a non-proteinaceous secretion, which is in line with the trail substance that is used by these wasps during their swarm-founding.