, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 35–40 | Cite as

Tarsal secretion marks food sources in bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

  • Ulrich Schmitt
  • Gunther Lübke
  • Wittko Francke
Research papers


Scent-marking of artificial food sources by workers of the bumblebee,Bombus terrestris, was investigated. Odour marks deposited on artificial flowers were subsequently collected and chemically analysed. Alkanes and alkenes were identified as the main components. The behaviour mediating capacity of synthetic mixtures of the identified compounds was bioassayed using an artificial flower system. A mixture of alkanes and alkenes, close to natural proportions, released regular foraging behaviour. The reaction proved to be dose-dependent.

Key words

scent-marking tarsal glands hydrocarbons Insecta Hymenoptera Apidae Bombus terrestris 


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Copyright information

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Schmitt
    • 1
  • Gunther Lübke
    • 2
  • Wittko Francke
    • 2
  1. 1.Fachbereich BiologiePhilipps-UniversitätMarburgFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Institut für Organische Chemie und BiochemieUniversität HamburgHamburgFederal Republic of Germany

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