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Formic acid in caustic cephalic secretions of stingless bee,Oxytrigona (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Abstract

The cephalic extracts of two species in the stingless bee genusOxytrigona were analyzed. Extracts made in diethyl ether, and then derivatized with diphenyldiazomethane, revealed large quantities of formic acid, potentially a major defensive secretion of this stingless bee group. We additionally identify several hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, and acetates. Novel diketones identified by others were detected in both species.

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Roubik, D.W., Smith, B.H. & Carlson, R.G. Formic acid in caustic cephalic secretions of stingless bee,Oxytrigona (Hymenoptera: Apidae). J Chem Ecol 13, 1079–1086 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01020539

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Key words

  • Defensive secretions
  • formic acid
  • Oxytrigona
  • Hymenoptera
  • Apidae
  • stingless bees
  • mandibular glands
  • Meliponinae