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Further Observations On the Function of Male Territories in the Carpenter Bee Xylocopa (Neoxylocopa) Hirsutissima Maidl (Anthophoridae, Hymenoptera)

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Territorial behaviour of male X. hirsutissima was studied. Depending on wind direction the male establishes a territory on or near the mountain top where he hovers behind or in a little shrub, protected from the wind and facing away from the shrub. With the aid of the legs, the mandibular gland secretion appears to be distributed over the ventral side of the abdomen. This secretion serves as a sex pheromone. Small insects approaching the male evoke pre-copulatory behaviour. Females fly upwind towards the male and appear to land on the shrub, immediately behind the males hovering place. Mating occurs or is initiated at this site. The mating biology of X. hirsutissima is compared with that of some other species within the genus and a basic similarity is noted.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Comparative Physiology, Utrecht, The Netherlands; 2: Departamento de Genética, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil


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