Electrophoretical polypeptide pattern of hypopharyngeal glands extracts from workers and males of Scaptotrigona postica Latr. (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponinae)

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Brill Academic Publishers


In S. postica the hypopharyngeal glands are present in workers, males and queens. The glands of newly emerged workers are in a prefunctional phase, in nurse workers they reach their highest development and in forager workers they suffer reabsorption. The newly emerged males and queens, however, have well developed glands that soon start involution. The electrophoretical pattern of worker and male hypopharyngeal glands is compared with the pattern of nurse workers of A. mellifera. The results show simularities, as well as differences among the S. postica males and workers, and among the phases of worker life. The electrophoretic band pattern suggests that the hypopharyngeal glands of nurse workers of S. postica produce substances similar to the ones produced by A. mellifera. The similarity of the extracts of nurse glands of A. mellifera and S. postica, as well as the behavioural similarities of the workers, suggest the same function of this gland in both species.



electrophoresis, polypeptides, hypopharyngeal glands, workers, males, Apidae, Meliponinae

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Netherlands Journal of Zoology. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, v. 49, n. 3, p. 157-166, 1999.