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      Stiff upper lip: Labrum deformity and functionality in bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea)

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      Journal of Hymenoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Life history and development--a framework for understanding developmental plasticity in lower termites.

          Termites (Isoptera) are the phylogenetically oldest social insects, but in scientific research they have always stood in the shadow of the social Hymenoptera. Both groups of social insects evolved complex societies independently and hence, their different ancestry provided them with different life-history preadaptations for social evolution. Termites, the 'social cockroaches', have a hemimetabolous mode of development and both sexes are diploid, while the social Hymenoptera belong to the holometabolous insects and have a haplodiploid mode of sex determination. Despite this apparent disparity it is interesting to ask whether termites and social Hymenoptera share common principles in their individual and social ontogenies and how these are related to the evolution of their respective social life histories. Such a comparison has, however, been much hampered by the developmental complexity of the termite caste system, as well as by an idiosyncratic terminology, which makes it difficult for non-termitologists to access the literature. Here, we provide a conceptual guide to termite terminology based on the highly flexible caste system of the "lower termites". We summarise what is known about ultimate causes and underlying proximate mechanisms in the evolution and maintenance of termite sociality, and we try to embed the results and their discussion into general evolutionary theory and developmental biology. Finally, we speculate about fundamental factors that might have facilitated the unique evolution of complex societies in a diploid hemimetabolous insect taxon. This review also aims at a better integration of termites into general discussions on evolutionary and developmental biology, and it shows that the ecology of termites and their astounding phenotypic plasticity have a large yet still little explored potential to provide insights into elementary evo-devo questions.
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            Taste perception in honey bees.

             Paula Brito (2011)
            Taste is crucial for honeybees for choosing profitable food sources, resins, water sources, and for nestmate recognition. Peripheral taste detection occurs within cuticular hairs, the chaetic and basiconic sensilla, which host gustatory receptor cells and, usually a mechanoreceptor cell. Gustatory sensilla are mostly located on the distal segment of the antennae, on the mouthparts, and on the tarsi of the forelegs. These sensilla respond with varying sensitivity to sugars, salts, and possibly amino acids, proteins, and water. So far, no responses of receptor cells to bitter substances were found although inhibitory effects of these substances on sucrose receptor cells could be recorded. When bees are free to express avoidance behaviors, they reject highly concentrated bitter and saline solutions. However, such avoidance disappears when bees are immobilized in the laboratory. In this case, they ingest these solutions, even if they suffer afterward a malaise-like state or even die from such ingestion. Central processing of taste occurs mainly in the subesophageal ganglion, but the nature of this processing remains unknown. We suggest that coding tastants in terms of their hedonic value, thus classifying them in terms of their palatability, is a basic strategy that a central processing of taste should achieve for survival.
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              Why Descriptive Science Still Matters

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Hymenoptera Research
                JHR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2607
                1070-9428
                June 30 2017
                June 30 2017
                : 57
                : 89-101
                Article
                10.3897/jhr.57.12510
                © 2017

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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