Defensive role of secretion of ectal mandibular glands of the wasp Polistes dominulus

Citation
A. Fortunato et al., Defensive role of secretion of ectal mandibular glands of the wasp Polistes dominulus, J CHEM ECOL, 27(3), 2001, pp. 569-579
Citations number
29
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY
ISSN journal
0098-0331 → ACNP
Volume
27
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
569 - 579
Database
ISI
SICI code
0098-0331(200103)27:3<569:DROSOE>2.0.ZU;2-M
Abstract
Ectal mandibular glands of insects are exocrine glands localized in the ant erior-lateral region of the head, close to the base of the mandibles. In so cial wasps, the gland is composed of secretory cells and a reservoir into w hich the secretion accumulates. At the time of emission the secretion flows onto a specialized cuticular area on the outside of the base of the mandib les. Secretion of Polistes dominulus is emitted only when wasps are greatly disturbed or in the presence of predators, and its function seems to be ma inly defensive. Morphometric studies did not reveal any size differences be tween the glands of the queens and those of the workers. GC-MS analyses of the glands identified 32 compounds, mainly acids and aldehydes in the range C-2-C-18. The overall odor, caused by the mixture of aldehydes, is distinc t. Workers do not respond strongly to the odor. The secretion probably serv es as a warning signal to vertebrate predators.