Species-specific attraction to pheromonal analogues in orchid bees

  title={Species-specific attraction to pheromonal analogues in orchid bees},
  author={Yvonne Zimmermann and David W. Roubik and Thomas Eltz},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
Male orchid bees (Euglossini) collect fragrances from flowers and other natural sources, a behaviour that has shaped the euglossine pollination syndrome. Males store such chemicals in hind leg pouches and later expose them during courtship display. In the present study, we show that complex bouquets of two sympatric species of Eulaema, E. meriana and E. bombiformis, are chemically distinct. When exposed during bioassays at display perches individual hind leg extracts rapidly and consistently… 

Chemical and molecular ecology of orchid bees (Euglossini)

A comprehensive analysis of orchid bee males of 27 different species from all over the neotropical region detected extremely low frequencies of (infertile) diploid males, contradicting earlier studies based on allozyme analysis, and rejecting the hypothesis that euglossine bees decline due to the genetic mechanism of Hymenopteran sex determination.

Species-Specific Antennal Responses to Tibial Fragrances by Male Orchid Bees

Antennal specialization to conspecific bouquets adds additional strength to the argument that specificity is an important evolutionary aspect of euglossine tibial fragrances.

Cuticular Hydrocarbons as Potential Close Range Recognition Cues in Orchid Bees

Overall, cuticular hydrocarbons meet the requirements to function as intraspecific and intersexual close range recognition signals; behavioral experiments are needed to determine their potential involvement in mate recognition.

Chemical niche differentiation among sympatric species of orchid bees.

Analysis of tibial fragrances of males of 15 sympatric Panamanian species in the genus Euglossa revealed substantial chemical disparity, suggesting that chemical preferences in orchid bees evolved rapidly in the early stages of species divergence.

Intraspecific Geographic Variation of Fragrances Acquired by Orchid Bees in Native and Introduced Populations

A pronounced chemical dissimilarity between native (Mesoamerica) and naturalized (U.S.) populations was detected that was driven both by proportional differences of common compounds as well as the presence of several chemicals unique to each population group.

Unraveling the Olfactory Biases of Male Euglossine Bees: Species-Specific Antennal Responses and Their Evolutionary Significance for Perfume Flowers

It is found that antennal response profiles are very unique on the species level and differ on the subgenus and the genus level, and scent composition of perfume flowers evolved in response to pollinator-mediated selection imposed by preexisting sensory biases in euglossine bees.

Rapid evolution of chemosensory receptor genes in a pair of sibling species of orchid bees (Apidae: Euglossini)

The results suggest that rapid changes in the chemosensory gene family occurred among closely related species of orchid bees, consistent with the hypothesis that strong divergent selection acting on chemOSensory receptor genes plays an important role in the evolution and diversification of insect pheromone systems.

Olfactory specialization for perfume collection in male orchid bees

Electroantennography responses of male orchid bees are species-specific and particularly strong for some of their major perfume ingredients, which confirms the utility of EAG profiling for discovering certain behaviorally active compounds.

First Report of Scent Collection by Male Orchid Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini) from Terrestrial Mushrooms

The first field observations on volatile collection by males of Eufriesea violacea Blanchard on mushrooms growing in the ecotone between the Atlantic rainforest and the higher elevation Araucaria forest of southern Brazil are reported.



Antennal response to fragrance compounds in male orchid bees

The hypothesis that preferences for attractive compounds have led to species-specific sensory adaptations that are measurable by electroantennography (EAG) is tested and the results strengthen the view that fragrance preferences are largely mediated by processes in higher nervous centres.

Species-Specific Antennal Responses to Tibial Fragrances by Male Orchid Bees

Antennal specialization to conspecific bouquets adds additional strength to the argument that specificity is an important evolutionary aspect of euglossine tibial fragrances.

Fragrances, male display and mating behaviour of Euglossa hemichlora: a flight cage experiment

A flight cage experiment performed in Panama that permitted mating between virgin females and males captured in the forest at fragrance baits and found individuals had uniformly large amounts of stored fragrances in comparison to three other species of Panamanian Euglossa.


All species of the Neotropical subtribes Stanhopeinae and Catasetinae (Orchi daceae) are pollinated exclusively by male euglossine bees which are attracted to and collect the floral fragrances. The

Juggling with volatiles: exposure of perfumes by displaying male orchid bees

The view that the volatiles serve as attractants in the context of mating behavior, the signal addressee, conspecific males or females, has yet to be found.

Fragrance Collection, Storage, and Accumulation by Individual Male Orchid Bees

GC-MS analyses of 153 males of three species showed that individual hind tibiae contain highly variable quantities of a complex and species-specific blend of fragrance compounds, mainly terpenoids and aromatics.

Mating behavior and chemical communication in the order Hymenoptera.

It is shown that some orchids use hymenopteran sex pheromones to dupe males into performing pseudocopulation, with extreme species specificity, and many species appear to discriminate among mates at the level of individual or kin/colony, and they use antiaphrodisiacs.

The behaviour of male orchid bees (Apidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta) and the question of leks

  • L. Kimsey
  • Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1980

Composition of Orchid Scents Attracting Euglossine Bees

The fragrances of euglossophilous flowers of the three plant families investigated are composed of nearly the same sets of chemical compounds, suggesting convergent evolution.

Nonfloral sources of chemicals that attract male euglossine bees (Apidae: Euglossini)

Fragrance collecting in euglossine bees might have evolved originally in relation with rotting wood rather than flowers, and nonfloral sources of chemicals such as rotting wood may constitute an important fragrance resource for male bees.