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Data from: Bees eavesdrop upon informative and persistent signal compounds in alarm pheromones

Citation

Wang, Zhengwei et al. (2017), Data from: Bees eavesdrop upon informative and persistent signal compounds in alarm pheromones, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n53d0

Abstract

Pollinators such as bees provide a critical ecosystem service that can be impaired by information about predation. We provide the first evidence for olfactory eavesdropping and avoidance of heterospecific alarm signals, alarm pheromones, at food sources in bees. We predicted that foragers would eavesdrop upon heterospecific alarm pheromones, and would detect and avoid conspicuous individual pheromone compounds, defined by abundance and how long they can linger to provide warning information (volatility). We show that Apis cerana foragers avoid the distinctive alarm pheromones of A. dorsata and A. mellifera, species that share the same floral resources and predators. We next examined responses to individual alarm pheromone compounds. Apis cerana foragers avoided isopentyl acetate (IPA), which is found in all three species and is the most abundant and volatile of the tested compounds. Interestingly, A. cerana also avoided two odor components, gamma-octanoic lactone (GOL) and (E)-2-decen-1-yl-acetate (DA), which are only present in A. dorsata alarm pheromone and are >150-fold less volatile than IPA. Neural recordings (EAG) revealed that A. cerana antennae are 10-fold more sensitive to GOL and DA than to other tested compounds. Thus, the eavesdropping strategy is shaped by signal conspicuousness (abundance and commonality) and signal persistence (volatility).

Usage Notes

Location

China