A comparative study of the antennal sensilla in corbiculate bees

publication date: Jul 4, 2014
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 53 (3) pp. 392-403
July 2014
Article Title

A comparative study of the antennal sensilla in corbiculate bees


Maria do Carmo Queiroz Fialho, Cirlei Pereira Guss-Matiello, José Cola Zanuncio, Lúcio Antonio Oliveira Campos and José Eduardo Serrão


Sensilla are the basic structures that allow the perception of environmental cues that play a role as mechanoreceptors, chemoreceptors, thermoreceptors and hygroreceptors associated with their morphology. Because bees have different degrees of sociability, they are a good model for the study of sensilla types and distribution linked with behaviour. This work identifies the types of sensilla in the antennae of bees with different degrees of sociability. The antennae of 18 species of bee were analysed with a scanning electron microscope. Trichoid and placoid sensilla are present in all antennomers of the species studied. The honey bee Apis mellifera and bumble bee Bombus pauloensis workers have higher diversity and sensillum distribution in comparison with males. In stingless bees, species of Melipona are representative of a homogeneous group for sensilla types and distribution. The types and distribution of sensilla in the antennae of bees seems to be associated with the degree of sociability.


antennae, apidae, behaviour, hymenoptera, morphology

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