Effect of Larval Topical Application of Juvenile Hormone on Cuticular Chemical Composition of Mischocyttarus consimilis (Vespidae: Polistinae) Females
Juvenile Hormone (JH) is considered the main determinant of caste in social insects, though little is known about how this hormone acts in social wasps, especially the independent-founding species. The known relationship between JH titer and caste in the colony and we suggest a relationship among the effects of JH and the cuticular chemical profile. Therefore, this study aimed to test the hypothesis that topical application of JH to larvae of different instars alters the cuticular chemical
... cular chemical composition of newly emerged females of Mischocyttarus consimilis (Zikán), influencing the dynamics of colony. Two techniques were used to evaluate the variation in cuticular chemical composition: Fourier transform infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Indeed, the application of JH did significantly alter the cuticular chemical composition of adult females that received treatment at the larval stage in comparison to control. The effects of JH were instar-dependent in that the results of topical application were significant when performed at third larval instar. Overall, these results add evidence that caste determination may, at least in part may be pre-imaginal in species of independent-founding social wasps.