For the second summer in a row I analysed the composition of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) on carpenter bees Ceratina calcarata, this time in populations from Missouri and Georgia as well as from New Hampshire. My goal was to find out if the CHC compositions differed significantly among these three populations. My results affirmed our prediction that the CHC composition varies by population, though there does appear to be some overlap across populations. The CHC variation observed suggests that chemical composition changes with latitude. CHCs are thought to have initially evolved to prevent water loss and then became part of chemical communication among individuals. Communication among insects plays a large role in their behavior and is critical to the development of complex social systems.
UNH Undergraduate Research Journal
Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire
Lombard, Sean, "Comparison of Cuticular Hydrocarbons in Three Populations of the Carpenter Bee “Ceratina calcarata” to help Understand their Role in Social Evolution" (2016). Inquiry Journal 2016. 10.