MANDIBULAR GLAND SECRETIONS OF THE OLD WORLD STINGLESS BEE, TRIGONA GRIBODOI MAGRETTI: ISOLATION, IDENTIFICATION, AND COMPOSITIONAL CHANGES WITH AGE
M. G. KEEPING, R. M. CREWE AND B. I. FlELD
The mandibular gland secretions of nurse bees, foragers and males of the stingless bee, Trigona gribodoi Magretti, were analysed quantitatively using gas chromatography (GC) and combined GC-mass spectrometry. Eight compounds were identified in the foragers' secretions: 2-haptanone, nonanal, 2-nonanol, I-nonanol, neral and geranial (stereoisomers of citral), tetradecane, and hexadecane; four of these were absent from the secretions of nurse bees and the rest were present in lower concentrations. On the basis of these changes with age and the results obtained from behavioural bioassays, it is concluded that the composition of the mandibular gland secretions of the workers is functionally related to the age polyethism displayed by this species.