Differences in volatile composition and sexual morphs in rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.) flowers and their effect in the Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae) attraction


Rev. Bras. entomol.




ABSTRACT We studied the volatile composition and sexual morphs of Nephelium lappaceum flowers from two orchards, and investigated the choice behavior of the honey bee, Apis mellifera toward the floral extracts from both locations. Our results showed significant differences in chemical composition and sexual morphs; only the hermaphrodite flowers from the Herradero orchard produced limonene and α-pinene and had longer peduncle and sepal than flowers from the Metapa orchard; on the other hand, the hermaphrodite flowers from the Metapa orchard had longer gynoecium. In the behavioral experiment the extracts from the Herradero orchard seemed to give A. mellifera foragers better cues for orientation to food sources, perhaps due to the presence of limonene and α-pinene, which are absent in the samples from Metapa. Such differences in both orchards could affect pollinator attraction and ultimately seed set and productivity.

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