Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
The evolution of individual or subgroup differences in odors of halictine bees is suggested from possibly widespread intraspecific variation in pheromones. An important result of such variation may be maintenance of genetic polymorphisms; in nesting Hymenoptera odor differences may also facilitate individual nest recognition. In Lasioglossum zephyrum males habituate to odors of different females and perhaps thus save time by not trying to copulate with nonreceptive individuals. Guards (females) at nest entrances distinguish their few nestmates (other females) from other conspecific individuals by odors, seemingly pheromones. Du-ration of the habituation in L. zephyrum is at least an hour (perhaps much more) for males in relation to females and 6 or 7 days for guards in relation to nestmates. Studies of pheromones should take into consideration the possibility of pheromonal polymorphism in any species and the likelihood that it may be significant from biological and practical view-points. .
Barrows, Edward M.; Bell, William J.; and Michener, Charles D., "Individual odor differences and their social functions in insects" (1975). Ba. Paper 65.
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