As compared toApis mellifera where only workers have hypopharyngeal glands, inScaptotrigona postica, these glands occur in workers, queens and males. They are composed of two long axial ducts with many unicellular secretory alveoli interconnected by secretory canaliculi. The axial ducts are longer in males than in workers, but the alveolar areas of queens and males are generally smaller. In workers the alveoli have their greatest size in the nurses or middle-aged individuals while in queens and males they are larger in newly emerged individuals. The results indicate that the glands in workers may produce food for the brood as inA. mellifera, since they are well developed in the nurse workers. However, the function of the glands in queens and males remains to be clarified since these individuals have no part in brood care.
Volume 44 | Issue 5
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