Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 160, Issue 5, pp 613–619 | Cite as

Modulation of alarm pheromone perception in the honey bee: evidence for division of labor based on hormonall regulated response thresholds

  • Gene E. Robinson
Article

Summary

Treatment of 1-day-old worker honey bees with the juvenile hormone analog methoprene prematurely reduced their behavioral threshold sensitivity to alarm pheromones. Electroantennogram assays indicated that peripheral perception was not affected; the effects apparently occurred in the central nervous system. These results support a model (Robinson 1987) of division of labor based on the hormonal regulation of response thresholds to task-associated stimuli. Coupled with other studies (Breed 1983; Robinson 1985), they also suggest that: 1) aggression in the honey bee is hormonally mediated and 2) a single hormone is involved in both the production and perception of an olfactory communication signal, the first report of this phenomenon in an invertebrate.

Abbreviations

JH

juvenile hormone

CNS

central nervous system

EAG

electroantennogram

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gene E. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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