International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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THE RELIABILITY OF BIOASSAYS: THE INTEGRATION OF CHEMISTRY AND BEHAVIOR IN NESTMATE RECOGNITION ASSAYS

Author(s):
Jaqueline Eterna Batista, Jaqueline Eterna Batista , Priscila Soares Oliveira , Sidnei Mateus , Fábio Santos do Nascimento
Institution(s):
Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil ; Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil ; Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil ; Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
The most of recognition bioassays demonstrate the importance of cuticular compounds in the process of acceptance or rejection of nestmates in social insect colonies. The intraespecific recognition process is a complex context, which chemical and behavioral aspects complement each other. In this study, we carried out discrimination assays by using stingless bees colonies of Melipona quadrifasciata. We used dead foragers (n= 20 nestmates and n= 20 non nestmates). To compare these trials, we also made experiments with live bees (n= 20 nestmates and n= 20 non-nestmates). Within each subgroup (n= 10), foragers had their superficial epicuticular layer removed by nonlethal extraction method, rubbing cotton wood fiber during 1.5 minutes. After all foragers were presented to nest in discriminating colonies. The binomial logistic regression was used to estimate the probability of the colony accept the presented bees, living or dead, with intact or not cuticular profile. First, the logistic regression model showed that the non-nestmates of the discriminant colony have a probability of acceptance of 3.56%. When bees have their complete cuticule profile, they are almost 8 fold more likely to be accepted in their home colonies. When live bees were presented, there is an acceptance rate of 2.6% of the test colony, and when dead insects were presented, this behavior was not observed. We concluded that the more postponed the recognition procedure becomes, fewer the chances of acceptance of a introduced individual.
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