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Influence of juvenile hormone on gravity orientation in the female honeybee larva (Apis mellifera L.)

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Summary

The influence of juvenile hormone (JH) on the behaviour of the female honeybee larva (Apis mellifera L.) during ultimate orientation was investigated. The effect of gravity was tested in natural and artificial cells by changing their inclination and by rotation experiments.

In queen larvae ultimate orientation (final orientation at the outset of metamorphosis) is controlled by gravity. They display a positive geotaxis under all experimental conditions tested even in reversed natural cells. However, ultimate orientation of worker larvae in natural cells is not affected by gravity. A positive geotactic preference is shown only in long artificial cells whereas larvae in short cells respond indifferently to gravity. The texture of the cell ending has a directing effect.

The geotactic indifference is replaced by a positive geotaxis in worker larvae treated with JH-I or JH-III during the third day of larval development (Fig. 5). In JH-treated larvae the evaluation of gravity equals that of queen larvae (Fig. 7). A positive geotaxis is evoked even in individuals that develop rather weak adult queenlike characteristics (Table 2). The juvenile hormone titer not only controls the differentiation of morphological and anatomical caste characteristics but also affects the orientation behaviour of the spinning larva.

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Abbreviations

JH :

juvenile hormone

QI :

queen index

References

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Additional information

My special thanks are due to Prof. Dr. M. Lindauer (Würzburg) for providing all facilities in the performance of this study. I am grateful to him and Dr. E. Horn (Karlsruhe) for fruitful discussions and to Drs. J. Beetsma and M. Brouwers (Wageningen) for critically reading the manuscript. The JH-I was a gift from Prof. Hainaut, Roussel-Uclaf (Romainville/France). The study was supported by a fellowship of the ‘Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes’.

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Ebert, R. Influence of juvenile hormone on gravity orientation in the female honeybee larva (Apis mellifera L.). J. Comp. Physiol. 137, 7–16 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00656912

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Keywords

  • Directing Effect
  • Apis Mellifera
  • Larval Development
  • Juvenile Hormone
  • Natural Cell