Individual scent marking of the nest entrance as a mechanism for nest recognition in Xylocopa pubescens (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae)

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Abstract

The mechanism by which female Xylocopa pubescens locate their nest in a nesting aggregation was investigated. The bees were induced to nest in canes to which uniform nest entrances were attached. The results of nest displacement experiments revealed that the bees use visual cues for proximate orientation, but at very close range they also use olfactory cues. This conclusion was corroborated by the results of experiments in which the nest entrances were either removed or exchanged for alien nest entrances. Moreover, habituation experiments strongly indicated that the bees impart their individual marking at the nest entrance and that they can learn and memorize the individual odors of the neighboring bees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-772
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1992

Keywords

  • Xylocopa pubescens
  • individual odors
  • nest recognition
  • orientation

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