Rev. Brasil. Biol.
Lestrimelitta limao is a cleptobiotic , i.e., it usually robs other colonies to obtain food. It is a stingless bee and uses secretion of the mandibular glands for attack. This secretion smells like citrus and is repellent to the attacked bees. Terpenoides have been isolated from the Nasanoff gland (BOCH & SHEARER, 1962) and from the sting glands (BOCH , SHEARER & STONE, 1962) of the honey bee. The mandibular glands of the honey bee produce a nonterpenoid secretion (SHEARER & BOCH, 1965). L. limao is the first bee from whose mandibular glands it has been isolated. The stereoisomeres geranial and the neral appear in the secretion in the approximate ratio of two to one (BLUM, 1966). The mandibular gland forms in this species a bifid sac that discharges the secretion into the base of the mandible. The part of the sac anterior to the optic lobe is mainly secretory while the posterior part is mainly reservoir (CRUZ-LANDIM, 1967). In the cytoplasm of the secretory cells run small ducts that collect the secretion. In forager bees (more than 25 days old) these cells appear degenerated, however, these bees always have the glandular sacs full of secretion.
Da Cruz Landim, Carminda and Barsanti de Camargo, Irineu J., "Light and Electron Microscope Studies of the Mandibular Gland of Lestrimelitta Limao (Hym., Meliponidae)" (1970). Co. Paper 10.
Available for download on Saturday, January 01, 2050