Abstract

Herein, microstructures (setae, spicules, and multi-pronged spicules) found on 1) the outer surfaces of mature larvae of stingless bees (Meliponini) and 2) the posterior surfaces of the hind legs of adult workers of these same bees are described, anatomically compared, and their functions assessed. It is concluded that those features on the hind legs of workers are true setae whereas those on mature larvae are multi-pronged spicules. However, it is proposed that under certain circumstances the multi-pronged spicules may well serve to similarly reduce friction while being actively employed.

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