Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 307–331 | Cite as

Mating behavior in halictine bees (Hymenoptera: Halictidae): III. Copulatory behavior and olfactory communication

  • Edward M. Barrows


Of the eight species of halictine bees whose mating behavior was studied,Augochlora pura (Augochlorini) andLasioglossum zephyrum (Halictini) were investigated in the greatest detail. Halictine bees have a short, simple courtship. Copulation occurs in the male-above position and its duration, 4 to about 340 seconds, varies significantly among species. Females resisted most mating attempts of males and usually mated only once. Males inseminated more than one female.

Males discriminated between conspecific females and those of other species; they did not make significantly more contacts with living, mobile females than with immobile ones killed by freezing. Female odors ofL. zephyrum andA. pura include aphrodisiacs; at least the former has a sex attractant which may be the same compound as the aphrodisiac. Virgin females ofL. zephyrum 2 to 8 days old produce aphrodisiac; it may be present throughout life. Some halictine females were highly attractive to males for up to 15 days, even after the females had mated. Aphrodisiac caused males ofL. zephyrum andA. pura to pounce upon 3 mm black India ink dots, which they probably mistook for females. Heads, mesosomas, and metasomas of females ofL. zephyrum all bore aphrodisiac.


Mating Behavior Copulatory Behavior Virgin Female Conspecific Female Female Odor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Paarungsbetragen in Halictusbien III. Begatungsverhalten und Geruchsmitteiling


Von den acht Halictusarten, deren Paarungsverhalten studiert wurde, sindAugochlora pura (Auglochlorini) undLasioglossum zephyrum (Halictini) am genauesten untersucht worden. Halictusbienen haben eine einfache, kurze Balz. Bei der Kopulation reiten die Männchen auf, und die Kopulationsdauer (4 bis ungefähr 340 sec) ist signifikant unterschiedlich bei den einzelnen Arten. Die Weibchen widersetzen sich den meisten Paarungsversuchen der Männchen und kopulieren gewöhnlich nur einmal. Die Männchen begatten mehr als ein Weibchen.

Die Männchen unterschieden arteigene Weibchen von solchen anderer Arten. Sie nahmen nicht signifikant mehr Kontakt auf mit lebenden Weibchen als mit unbeweglichen, die durch Einfrieren getötet waren. Duftstoff der Weibchen vonL. zephyrum undA. pura enthält Aphrodisiakum; zumindestL. zephyrum hat einen Sexuallockstoff, der wahrscheinlich mit dem Aphrodisiakum identisch ist. Zwei bis drei Tage alte, unbegattete Weibchen dieser Art produzieren ein Aphrodisiakum, welches vermutlich während der gesamten Lebensspanne vorhanden ist. Einige weibliche Halictinae waren bis zu 15 Tagen hoch attraktiv für die Männchen, sogar nachdem die Weibchen schon kopuliert hatten. Das Aphrodisiakum veranlasste Männchen vonL. zephyrum undA. pura auf 3 mm grosse, schwarze Tuschepunkte zu springen, die sie wohl für Weibchen hielten. Die Duftstoffe aus den Köpfen, Meso- und Metasomas von weiblichenL. zephyrum enthielten alle das Aphrodisiakum.


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Copyright information

© Masson & Cie 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward M. Barrows
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceU.S.A.

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