Description of the Intramandibular Gland II in Polybia emaciata Lucas (Hymenoptera, Vespidae)


  • Christian Camilo Cely University of Michigan
  • Andrea Penagos-Arévalo Liceo Segovia, Bogotá
  • Johan Billen K.U. Universiteit, Leuven
  • Carlos E Sarmiento Universidad Nacional de Colombia Instituto de Ciencias Naturales



exocrine glands, Polistinae, mandibles


The intramandibular gland II in Polybia emaciata Lucas is described. This species is among the few that uses mud for nest construction, and their nests persist for a long time following abandonment. The intramandibular gland II has been found in single representatives of the genera Mischocyttarus, Apoica and Leipomeles, and this record is the second for the genus Polybia. Despite expectations derived from the nest characteristics of the species, gland dimensions such as cell diameter were well within the range observed for other species, with the cell number even comparatively small. Gland function remains to be investigated.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Johan Billen, K.U. Universiteit, Leuven

Full Professor, Department of Biology

Carlos E Sarmiento, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Instituto de Ciencias Naturales


Associate profesor

Instituto de Ciencias Naturales


Billen, J., & Morgan, E.D. (1998). Pheromone communication in social insects—sources and secretions. In R.K. Vander Meer, M.D. Breed, M.L. Winston, & K.E. Espelie (Eds.), Pheromone Communication in Social Insects: Ants, Wasps, Bees, and Termites. (pp. 3-33). Boulder: Westview Press.

Billen, J. (2009). Occurrence and structural organization of the exocrine glands in the legs of ants. Arthropod Structure and Development 38: 2-15. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2008.08.002.

Billen, J., Wilson, E.O. (2008). Social insect histology from the nineteenth century: the magnificent pioneer sections of Charles Janet. Arthropod Structure and Development 37: 163-167. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2007.07.002.

Britto, F., Caetano. F.H., Silva De Moraes, R.L.M. (2004). Comparative analysis of morphological, structural and morphometric patterns of Polistes versicolor (Olivier) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) hypopharyngeal glands. Neotropical Entomology, 33: 321-326.

Costa Leonardo, A.M. (1978). Glandulas intramandibulares em abelhas sociais Ciencia e Cultura 307: 835-838.

Da Silva, M., Noll, F., Billen, J. (2015). Morphology of Richards' gland in the swarm-founding wasp Protonectarina sylveirae (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Acta Zoologica 96: 530-533. doi: 10.1111/azo.12089.

Downing, H.A. (1991). The function and evolution of exocrine glands, In K.G. Ross, & R. W. Matthews (Eds.), The Social Biology of Wasps. (pp. 540-569) Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

García, Z., Noll, F. (2013). Age and morphological changes in the Epiponini wasp Polybia paulista Von Ihering (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Neotropical Entomology, 42: 293-299. doi:10.1007/s13744-013-0124-6.

Herzner, G., Goettler, W., Kroiss, J., Purea, A., Webb, A., Jakob, P.M., Rössler, W., Strohm, E. (2007). Males of a solitary wasp possess a postpharyngeal gland. Arthropod Structure and Development, 36: 123-133. doi:10.1016/j.asd.2006.08.006.

Heselhaus, F. (1922). Die Hautdrüsen der Apiden und verwandter Formen. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Anatomie und Ontogenie der Tiere Abteilung für Anatomie und Ontogenie der Tiere, 43: 369-464.

Nedel, J.O. (1960). Morphologie und Physiologie der Mandibeldrüse einiger Bienen-Arten (Apidae). Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Ökologie der Tiere, 49: 139-183.

Noirot, C., Quennedey, A. (1974). Fine structure of insect epidermal glands. Annual Review of Entomology 19: 61-80. doi: 10.1146/annurev.en.19.010174.000425.

O’Donnell, S., Jeanne, R.L. (2002). The nest as fortress: defensive behavior of Polybia emaciata, a mud-nesting eusocial wasp. The Journal of Insect Science, 2: 1-5. doi: 10.1673/031.002.0301.

Penagos-Arévalo. A., Billen. J., Sarmiento, C.E. (2015). Uncovering head gland diversity in neotropical Polistinae wasps (Hymenoptera, Vespidae): comparative analysis and description of new glands. Arthropod Structure and Development, 44: 415-425. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2015.06.002.

Richards, O.W. (1978). The Social Wasps of the Americas. London: British Museum (Natural History), 585 p.

Samacá, E., Billen, J., Sarmiento, C.E. (2013). Morphology of the fifth sternal glands in neotropical social wasps (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Polistinae). Invertebrate Biology, 132: 163-172. doi:10.1111/ivb.12022.

Schoeters, E., Billen, J. (1994). The intramandibular gland, a novel exocrine structure in ants (Insecta, Hymenoptera). Zoomorphology, 114: 125-131. doi:10.1007/BF00396645.

Skutch, A.F. (1971). A Naturalist in Costa Rica. Gainesville: Univ. of Florida Press, 378 p

Strassmann, J.E., Gastreich, K.R., Queller, D.C., Hughes, R. (1992). Demographic and genetic evidence for cyclical changes in queen number in a Neotropical wasp, Polybia emaciata. The American Naturalist, 140: 363-372. doi:10.1086/285417.




How to Cite

Cely, C. C., Penagos-Arévalo, A., Billen, J., & Sarmiento, C. E. (2017). Description of the Intramandibular Gland II in Polybia emaciata Lucas (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Sociobiology, 64(3), 347–351.



Research Article - Wasps