Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) cover insects’ bodies and play important roles in chemical communication, including nestmate recognition, for social insects. To enter colonies of a social host species, parasites may acquire host-specific CHCs or covertly maintain their own CHC profile by lowering its quantity. However, the chemical profile of small hive beetles (SHBs), Aethina tumida, which are parasites of honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies, and other bee nests, is currently unknown. Here, adults of SHB and honey bee host workers were collected from the same field colonies and their CHC profiles were analysed using GC-MS. The chemical profiles of field-sampled SHBs were also compared with those of host-naive beetles reared in the laboratory. Laboratory-reared SHBs differed in their CHC profiles from field-sampled ones, which showed a more similar, but ten-fold lower, generic host CHC profile compared to host workers. While the data confirm colony-specific CHCs of honey bee workers, the profile of field-collected SHBs was not colony-specific. Adult SHBs often commute between different host colonies, thereby possibly preventing the acquisition of a colony-specific CHC profiles. An ester was exclusive to both groups of SHBs and might constitute an intraspecific recognition cue. Our data suggest that SHBs do not use any finely tuned chemical strategy to conceal their presence inside host colonies and instead probably rely on their hard exoskeleton and defence behaviours.

Cuticular hydrocarbon profile of parasitic beetles, aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) / Papach A.; Cappa F.; Cervo R.; Dapporto L.; Balusu R.; Williams G.R.; Neumann P.. - In: INSECTS. - ISSN 2075-4450. - ELETTRONICO. - 12:(2021), pp. 751.751-751.760. [10.3390/insects12080751]

Cuticular hydrocarbon profile of parasitic beetles, aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)

Cappa F.;Cervo R.;Dapporto L.;
2021

Abstract

Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) cover insects’ bodies and play important roles in chemical communication, including nestmate recognition, for social insects. To enter colonies of a social host species, parasites may acquire host-specific CHCs or covertly maintain their own CHC profile by lowering its quantity. However, the chemical profile of small hive beetles (SHBs), Aethina tumida, which are parasites of honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies, and other bee nests, is currently unknown. Here, adults of SHB and honey bee host workers were collected from the same field colonies and their CHC profiles were analysed using GC-MS. The chemical profiles of field-sampled SHBs were also compared with those of host-naive beetles reared in the laboratory. Laboratory-reared SHBs differed in their CHC profiles from field-sampled ones, which showed a more similar, but ten-fold lower, generic host CHC profile compared to host workers. While the data confirm colony-specific CHCs of honey bee workers, the profile of field-collected SHBs was not colony-specific. Adult SHBs often commute between different host colonies, thereby possibly preventing the acquisition of a colony-specific CHC profiles. An ester was exclusive to both groups of SHBs and might constitute an intraspecific recognition cue. Our data suggest that SHBs do not use any finely tuned chemical strategy to conceal their presence inside host colonies and instead probably rely on their hard exoskeleton and defence behaviours.
12
751
760
Papach A.; Cappa F.; Cervo R.; Dapporto L.; Balusu R.; Williams G.R.; Neumann P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1285223
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