Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Changes in the Morphology and Ultrastructure of the Dufour's Gland During the Life Cycle of the Bumble Bee Queen, Bombus Terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Bombini)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

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

The Dufour's gland is found closely associated with the sting apparatus of all female hymenopterans, playing multiple roles among bees. In some species of Bombus the gland may be involved in production of nestmate recognition pheromones, but in B. terrestris its function is not certain yet. The morphology of the Dufour's gland of B. terrestris queens and the ultrastructural features of its cells were studied in different ages and behavioural stages using routine transmission electron microscopy. Measurements of the length and the diameter of the gland in the same conditions were also made. The Dufour's gland of the queen increases significantly in size (both in length and in diameter) with age and reproductive activity. The ultrastructural features of the gland show electron-dense material that comes from the haemolymph. This material is also present in the intercellular spaces, and is conducted to the subcuticular space, to be released directly into the glandular lumen. Hence at least part of the secretion is probably taken up directly from the haemolymph. The ultrastructural features indicate a more active phase of the gland corresponding to the period of egg-laying of the queen, and a decrease in activity when the queen is in hibernation as well as after the competition point. In conclusion, the gland is probably involved in reproduction, more specifically, in the marking of eggs.

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Biologia, Instituto de Biociências de Rio Claro, UNESP, Caixa Postal 199, 13506-900 Rio Claro, SP, Brazil; 2: Vergelijkende Fysiologie, Projectgroep Ethologie & Socio-Oecologie, Universiteit Utrecht, P.O. Box 80086, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Netherlands Journal of Zoology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation