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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 1983; 80(14): 4551–4553.
PMCID: PMC384077

Recognition of female kin by male bees through olfactory signals


After males of Lasioglossum zephyrum (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) have first been exposed to a conspecific female, the attractiveness of a second female diminishes with increasing genealogical relationship between the two females. The most parsimonious explanation for this is a polygenically controlled female sex pheromone. Nonrandom mating preferences may markedly affect gene flow within and between natural populations. Polygenically controlled sex pheromones probably also enhance kin recognition among females and, thus, influence the evolution of eusocial behavior in bees and wasps.

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Selected References

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  • Averhoff WW, Richardson RH. Pheromonal control of mating patterns in Drosophila melanogaster. Behav Genet. 1974 Sep;4(3):207–225. [PubMed]
  • Averhoff WW, Richardson RH. Multiple pheromone system controlling mating in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976 Feb;73(2):591–593. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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