Morphology of the sting and its associated glands in four different honey bee species

publication date: Mar 31, 2008
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 47 (1) pp. 46 - 52
DOI
Date
March 2008
 
Article Title
 
Morphology of the sting and its associated glands in four different honey bee species.
Author(s)
Jeganatha Ramya and Doddarangaiah Rajagopal.
 
Abstract
The morphology of the sting of the four honey bee species Apis cerana, Apis dorsata, Apis florea and Apis mellifera was examined. Considerable similarities were found, but A. dorsata had the longest sting, followed by A. mellifera, A. cerana and A. florea. Certain differences were observed in the sclerotization of individual structures in the motor apparatus. In particular, the apodeme of the quadrate plate was sharper, rounded, protruded slightly and protruded most in A. dorsata compared to A. mellifera, A. cerana and A. florea respectively. In the piercing apparatus, the furcula of the stylet was almost identical in A. mellifera and A. cerana, but in A. dorsata, the point of bifurcation of the furcula was broader compared to A. cerana and A. mellifera, whilst in A. florea the structure resembled the character pi (π). There were 11 acute barbs in A. dorsata compared to 10 in the other three species. The distance between the successive barbs gradually increased posterio-anteriorally. The venom gland was distally bifurcated and then united into a filament, opening into the venom sac in all four species. The Dufour gland was coloured white in A. dorsata, A. mellifera, and A. florea but was either yellow or white in A. cerana.
Keywords
Sting morphology, motor apparatus, piercing apparatus, Apis dorsata, Apis mellifera, Apis cerana, Apis florea.
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