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Data from: Octopamine increases individual and collective foraging in a neotropical stingless bee

Citation

Peng, Tianfei; Schroeder, Maximilian; Grüter, Christoph (2020), Data from: Octopamine increases individual and collective foraging in a neotropical stingless bee, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v9s4mw6rk

Abstract

The biogenic amine octopamine is a key modulator of individual and social behaviours in honeybees, but its role in the other group of highly eusocial bees, the stingless bees, remains largely unknown. In honeybees, octopamine mediates reward perception and affects a wide range of reward-seeking behaviours. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that octopamine increases individual foraging effort and collective food source exploitation in the neotropical stingless bee Plebeia droryana. Octopamine treatment caused a significant increase in the number of bees at artificial sucrose feeders and a 1.73-times higher individual foraging frequency. This effect can be explained by octopamine lowering the sucrose response threshold and, thus, increasing the perceived value of the food source. Our results demonstrate that, similar to its effects on honeybees, octopamine increases both individual and collective food source exploitation in P. droryana. This suggests that, despite having evolved many complex behaviours independently, OA might have similar regulatory effects on foraging behaviours in the two groups of highly eusocial bees.