Specialist Bombus vestalis and generalist Bombus bohemicus use different odour cues to find their host Bombus terrestris

  title={Specialist Bombus vestalis and generalist Bombus bohemicus use different odour cues to find their host Bombus terrestris
  author={Kirsten Kreuter and Robert Twele and Wittko Francke and Manfred Ayasse},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},

A method for year-round rearing of cuckoo bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Bombus subgenus Psithyrus)

A simple method for rearing cuckoo bumblebees (Bombus subgenus Psithyrus) in the laboratory enables a year-round and mass breeding of Psith Cyrus species to facilitate studies of these rare species.

Specific recognition of reproductive parasite workers by nest-entrance guards in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris

Chemical analysis revealed that the cuticular chemical profiles of workers encode information about both their colony membership and their current fertility, therefore providing potential recognition cues for a suitable adjustment of the guards’ defensive decisions, and provides a first piece of empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that an adapted defensive strategy against worker reproductive parasitism exists in B. terrestris colonies.

Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

It is suggested that wax scent enables workers to time their reproduction by providing essential information concerning the social condition of the colony by changing the patterns and amounts of cuticular lipids change considerably during colony development.

The chemical basis of host nest detection and chemical integration in a cuckoo paper wasp

It is demonstrated that CHCs are fundamental in both steps of the host exploitation process, thus confirming their primary role in social insect life and consequently in social parasite–host interactions.

Ecology and Evolution of Cuckoo Bumble Bees

Abstract Most social insect lineages contain socially parasitic cheater species that, rather than produce their own workers, infiltrate the nests of closely related social species and force the hosts

Bumblebee-mediated pollination of English populations of the Military Orchid (Orchis militaris): its possible relevance to functional morphology, life history and climate change

It is suggested that bumblebees (Bombus spp.) may have become the primary pollinators of the orchid at the site and models of pollination ecology should consider the caste and life history of the relevant insect.

Wax Lipids Signal Nest Identity in Bumblebee Colonies

The findings suggest that wax emits characteristic olfactory profiles that are used by workers to recognize their colony, and that bumblebees were able to discriminate between wax scents from their own and a foreign colony.

Chemical ecology of bumble bees.

The development of new and more sensitive analytical tools and improvements in sociogenetic methods significantly enhanced knowledge about chemical compounds that mediate the regulation of reproduction in the social phase of colony development, about the interactions between host bumble bees and their social parasites, about pheromones involved in mating behavior, as well as about the importance of signals, cues and context-dependent learning in foraging behavior.

Reproductive Dominance Strategies in Insect Social Parasites

This review compares socially parasitic insect lineages to find general trends and build a hypothetical framework for the means by which social parasites achieve reproductive dominance, and highlights how host social organization and social parasite life history traits may impact the way they achieve reproductive supremacy.

Drifting behaviour as an alternative reproductive strategy for social insect workers

It is shown in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris that drifting is a distinct strategy by which fertile workers circumvent competition in their nest and reproduce in foreign colonies, and shows that the drifting of fertile workers reflects complex decision-making processes associated with in-nest reproductive competition.



The role of trail pheromones in host nest recognition of the social parasitic bumblebees Bombus bohemicus and Bombus rupestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

The results show that volatile signals enable parasite females to discriminate between potential host species, and intercolonial differences within the single species are found.

Do social parasitic bumblebees use chemical weapons? (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

Dodecyl acetate is the first repellent allomone identified in bumblebees, used to repel attacking B. hypnorum workers during nest usurpation and subsequently during colony development.

Chemical ecology involved in invasion success of the cuckoo bumblebee Psithyrus vestalis and in survival of workers of its host Bombus terrestris

In bumblebees all species of the subgenus Psithyrus are social parasites in the nests of their Bombus hosts, and the Psith Cyrus female clearly maintains reproductive dominance utilizing differences in the odour bouquets as criteria for killing workers that compete for reproduction.

Host-parasite relationships in six species ofSphecodes bees and their halictid hosts: Nest intrusion, intranidal behavior, and Dufour's gland volatiles (Hymenoptera: Halictidae)

Comparisons of whole patterns and quantitative comparisons considering the predominant hydrocarbons common to both host and parasite contradict the hypothesis of chemical mimetism, a mechanism supposed to permit parasite intrusion by qualitatively similar odor bouquets in host and parasites females.

Host recognition and the study of a chemical basis for attraction by cuckoo bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Parasites of both species were capable of distinguishing host bees from other bumble bee species using chemical cues contained within extracts, and among extracts of several body parts presented to parasites, the abdomen produced the greatest behavioral response.

Caste- and colony-specific chemical signals on eggs of the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

In the bumble bee, females very likely mark eggs with excretions of Dufour’s gland, however, other glands may also be involved and the volatile patterns were found to be colony-specific.

Suppression of ovarian development of Bombus terrestris workers by B. terrestris queens, Psithyrus vestalis and Psithyrus bohemicus females

Ovarian development inhibition by P. bohemicus was not statistically different both from the positive and the negative control, indicating that this non-specific parasite is able to affect the ovarian development of workers, but not to the same extent as the queens of the same species or the females of the specific parasite.

Profiles of cuticular hydrocarbons mediate male mate choice and sexual isolation between hybridising Chrysochus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

It is established that CHCs influence sexual isolation in this system, and the evolutionary lability of these cues can be assessed, which will inform both the understanding of speciation, and of the conditions under which the chemical signaling systems that influence mate choice in insects can evolve.

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

Scent-marking of artificial food sources by workers of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, was investigated and the reaction proved to be dose-dependent.