Hymenoptera possess a huge variety of exocrine
glands that serve several functions. Most studies were concerned
with social species and some glands are thought to have evolved
in response to the requirements of the social group. European
beewolves have a number of exocrine glands that are interesting
because of their special function or because of their possible homology
with "social" glands.
Female European beewolves possess unique antennal
glands with an exceptional morphology so far undescribed in other
Hymenoptera that function as brood pouches for symbiotic
bacteria of the genus Streptomyces. In both sexes there are
large cephalic glands. In females these glands are involved in the
preservation of the prey, whereas in males they produce and store
We examine the fine- and ultrastructure of the
described glands using light and electron microscopy (SEM/TEM) and
reconstruct their morphology either with sections or with NMR spectroscopy
using the 3D-Visualisation-software Amira®. To elucidate the evolutionary
origin of these glands and their possible initial functions we conduct
comparative analyses of other species of aculeate hymenoptera.
Herzner G, Kaltenpoth M, Poettinger T, Weiss K,
Koedam D, Kroiss J, Strohm E (2013) Morphology, chemistry and function
of the postpharyngeal gland in the South American digger wasps Trachypus
boharti and Trachypus elongatus. PLoS ONE 8(12): e82780.
Goettler W, Strohm E (2008). Mandibular glands
of male European Beewolves, Philanthus triangulum (Hymenoptera,
Crabronidae). Arthropod Structure & Development. Arthropod Structure
& Development 37: 363-371.
Strohm E, Herzner G, Goettler W (2007). A "social"
gland in a solitary wasp? The postpharyngeal gland of female European
beewolves (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). Arthropod Structure &
Development 36: 113-122.
Herzner G, Goettler W, Kroiss J, Purea A, Webb
A, Jakob PM., Rössler W, Strohm E (2007). Males of a solitary wasp
possess a postpharyngeal gland. Arthropod Structure & Development
Goettler, W., Kaltenpoth, M., Herzner, G., Strohm,
E. (2007) Morphology and ultrastructure of a bacteria cultivation
organ: The antennal glands of female European beewolves, Philanthus
triangulum (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae). Arthropod
Structure & Development 36: 1-9.