Post-embryonic Development of the Seminal Vesicle in the Stingless Bee Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier, 1836 (Apidae: Meliponini)


  • Ríudo de Paiva Ferreira Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Hugo de Azevedo Werneck Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Juliana Malta Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Aparecida das Dores Teixeira Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Lucio Antonio de Oliveira Campos Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • José Eduardo Serrão Universidade Federal de Viçosa



Hymenoptera, reproductive system, male accessory glands


The male accessory glands of stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are absent and the morphology of their seminal vesicle indicate probable secretory function by this organ. This study investigated the post-embryonic development of the seminal vesicles in males of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata by histology and histochemistry. White-eyed pupae, pink-eyed pupae, brown-eyed pupae, black-eyed pupae, newly emerged and sexually mature males were studied. Seminal vesicle has a wall with a single layered epithelium onto a thin basement membrane, followed by a well-developed muscle layer. The epithelium is polarized in the pupal stage with basal cell region strongly positive for glucoconjugates and carbohydrates. The seminal vesicle has an enlarged lumen from the young pupal stages with luminal content increasing gradually with glucoconjugates along the pupal development. In the newly emerged and mature males, the histochemical tests to carbohydrates were negative. In the sexually mature males, spermatozoa clusters are embedded by the glucoconjugates content of the seminal vesicle lumen. In conclusion, the seminal vesicle of M. quadrifasciata has a secretory function during the pupal stage and in newly emerged males, whereas in adult males this organ stores the spermatozoa.



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Author Biographies

Ríudo de Paiva Ferreira, Universidade Federal de Viçosa

Departamento de Biologia Geral, Ph.D

Hugo de Azevedo Werneck, Universidade Federal de Viçosa

Departamento de Biologia Geral, Pós-Doc

Juliana Malta, Universidade Federal de Viçosa

Departamento de Biologia Geral, Ph.D

Aparecida das Dores Teixeira, Universidade Federal de Viçosa

Departamento de Biologia Geral, Pós-Doc

Lucio Antonio de Oliveira Campos, Universidade Federal de Viçosa

Departamento de Biologia Geral, Professor

José Eduardo Serrão, Universidade Federal de Viçosa

Departamento de Biologia Geral, Professor


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How to Cite

Ferreira, R. de P., Werneck, H. de A., Malta, J., Teixeira, A. das D., Campos, L. A. de O., & Serrão, J. E. (2019). Post-embryonic Development of the Seminal Vesicle in the Stingless Bee Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier, 1836 (Apidae: Meliponini). Sociobiology, 66(2), 287–292.



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