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Gender Specific Brood Cells in the Solitary Bee Colletes halophilus (Hymenoptera; Colletidae)
- Rooijakkers, Eveline F., Sommeijer, Marinus J.
- Journal of insect behavior 2009 v.22 no.6 pp. 492-500
- Colletes, brood cells, cell cycle, dimorphism, foods, larvae, males, models, progeny, reproductive behavior, solitary bees
- We studied the reproductive behaviour of the solitary bee Colletes halophilus based on the variation in cell size, larval food amount and larval sex in relation to the sexual size dimorphism in this bee. Brood cells with female larvae are larger and contain more larval food than cells with males. Occasionally males are reared in female-sized cells. We conclude that a female C. halophilus in principal anticipates the sex of her offspring at the moment brood cell construction is started. Additionally a female is able to ‘change her mind' about the sex of her offspring during a single brood cell cycle. We present a model that can predict the sex of the larvae in an early stage of development.