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Open AccessReview

Reproductive Interference in an Introduced Bumblebee: Polyandry may Mitigate Negative Reproductive Impact

Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Faculty of Applied Biological Sciences, Gifu University, Yanagido 1-1, Gifu 501-1193, Japan
Arysta Lifescience Corporation Bio Systems, Asia and Life Science Business Group 418-404 Nishihara, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0832, Japan
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Onogawa 16-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(2), 59;
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Insect Species Modelling and Control)
PDF [1092 KB, uploaded 22 February 2019]


As a signature of reproductive interference (RI), we reviewed hybrid production in eusocial bumblebees in Japan, by comparing introduced Bombus terrestris with native B. ignitus in Honshu (main island of Japan) and with native B. hypocrita sapporoensis in Hokkaido (northern island of Japan). In this review, we present additional new data showing hybrid production between introduced B. terrestris and native B. ignitus in Honshu. Interspecific mating with introduced B. terrestris disrupts the reproduction of native B. h. sapporoensis and B. ignitus, which belong to the same subgenus of Bombus, through inviable egg production. This interference appears to facilitate species replacement on Hokkaido. Simultaneously, the mating frequencies for queens of B. terrestris have increased, suggesting that polyandry might evolve in response to the extent of RI between B. terrestris and B. h. sapporoensis. To suppress the population size of B. terrestris in Hokkaido, two methods have been proposed: the mass release of B. h. sapporoensis males to induce RI between the two species and the spraying of insecticides against foraging workers so that the workers will carry the insecticides back to their colonies, killing the immature bees within the colonies. A candidate insecticide type is insect growth regulator, which may disrupt larval development without any apparent effect on foraging workers. View Full-Text
Keywords: reproductive interference; bumblebees; hybrid production; hybrid inviability reproductive interference; bumblebees; hybrid production; hybrid inviability

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Tsuchida, K.; Yamaguchi, A.; Kanbe, Y.; Goka, K. Reproductive Interference in an Introduced Bumblebee: Polyandry may Mitigate Negative Reproductive Impact. Insects 2019, 10, 59.

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