Morphology, chemical contents and possible function of the tibial gland of males of the Costa Rican solitary bees Centris nitida and Centris trigonoides subtarsata (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae)

Williams, HJ.; Vinson, SB.; Frankie, GW.; Coville, RE.; Ivie, GW.

Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 571: 50-54


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-8567
DOI: 10.2307/25084480
Accession: 001412573

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The males of these 2 species have enlarged hind femora and tibiae that contain glands. The hind leg of C.nitida is illustrated. Macerated legs and leg extracts of both species exhibited a sweet, musty odour. Gas chromatography of the volatile hexane-soluble oils from the glands showed that the major constituent (>50%) for both species was 2-pentadecanone. 2-Heptanone (32%) was the second major constituent of the C.nitida secretion, but was lacking in C.t.subtarsata. The second major constituent of the C.t.subtarsata secretion was hexadecyl acetate (35%), which was lacking in C.nitida. Observations on male territorial behaviour by C.nitida in the crowns of Cassia grandis trees in lowland dry forest in Guanacaste suggested that the leg gland secretion is used to scent-mark territories. No observations were made on the territorial behaviour of C.t.subtarsata.D.G. Lowe.