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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341640

Research Project: Managing and Conserving Diverse Bee Pollinators for Sustainable Crop Production and Wildland Preservation

Location: Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research

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

Author
item Tripodi, Amber
item Orr, Michael - Utah State University

Submitted to: Journal of Hymenoptera Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Insects’ mouthparts contain various structures that assist in finding food and feeding upon it, and the functions of these are often well-known and obvious. However, the function of one structure, the labrum, is more difficult to discern in bees. The discovery of a bee with a deformed labrum prompted a review of labrum function throughout the bees. Here we present a description of the aberrant specimen and a synthesis of the modification and known function of the labrum in bees.

Technical Abstract: In hyper-diverse groups such as Hymenoptera, a variety of structures with different, complementary functions are used for feeding. Although the function of the parts such as the mandibles is obvious, the use of others, like the labrum, is more difficult to discern. Here, we discuss the labrum’s function in bees, as well as the implications of deformities to this and associated characteristics.