Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1877–1885 | Cite as

Change in mandibular and mesosomal gland contents of maleXylocopa micans (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae) associated with mating system

  • H. J. McAuslane
  • S. B. Vinson
  • H. J. Williams


Males ofXylocopa micans employ two mating systems in south-central Texas. They defend territories around flowering wisteria and redbud in March and April, and they maintain nonresource-based or landmark territories in July and August. Mandibular and mesosomal gland contents (analyzed by GC-MS) are different in bees employing the two mating systems. Mandibular glands contain only straight-chain hydrocarbons in bees defending floral resources, but include ethyl oleate in bees defending landmark territories. Mesosomal glands contain saturated, mono- and diunsaturated straight-chain hydrocarbons and methyl and ethyl esters of long-chain fatty acids. The major ethyl ester, ethyl oleate, comprises only 1.1% of mesosomal gland contents in bees defending floral resources but comprises 39.7% of gland content of bees defending landmark territories. These findings are discussed relative to the proposed sex pheromone function ofXylocopa gland secretions.

Key words

Xylocopa micans Hymenoptera Anthophoridae mesosomal glands mandibular glands hydrocarbons fatty acid esters territoriality mating system 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. McAuslane
    • 1
  • S. B. Vinson
    • 1
  • H. J. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station

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