Characterization of the mandibular glands in different adult types of Scaptotrigona postica Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Luciana F. Gracioli-Vitti Fábio C. Abdalla Carminda da Cruz-Landim About the authors

The mandibular glands of newly-emerged, nurse and forager workers, virgin and physogastric queens, and mature males of Scaptotrigona postica Latreille were studied under histological and morphometrical analyses. These glands present differences in their histology, according to the age and/or function of the individuals. The morphometric results showed that the mandibular glands have a very markedly secretory cicle, in which the secretion starts to be produced in newly emerged workers, being accumulated into the cytoplasm and reservoir in the nurses. In forager workers the cytoplasm presents many vacuoles, which are remaining of the secretion releasing. Physogastric queens showed the largest cellular and nuclear areas. On the contrary, the males presented the smallest ones.

Mandibular gland; anatomy; histology; caste; sex; functional state

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