honey bee, prepupa

Prepupa (also called propupa or defecated larva [1]) of honey bee worker. After Snodgrass (1956, fig. 2g) [2], Dade (1977, plate 18e) [3]. (scale bar = 1 mm)

Before becoming prepupa the larva orients its anterior part toward capping which is recognised by rough texture and gravity in case of queens [4]. Disorientated larvae occur rarely. They are not able to emerge from their cell and die.
After spinning, but without ecdysis, the larvae enter the prepupal stage, during which they appear straightened and motionless in their cells. During this time larval cuticle progressively loosens. This stage ends with the pupal ecdysis.


  1. Michener C.D. (2000) The bees of the world. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  2. Snodgrass R.E. (1956) Anatomy of the honey bee. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, pp. 334.
  3. Dade H.A. (1977) Anatomy and dissection of the honeybee. International Bee Research Association, London, pp. 158.
  4. Jay S.C. (1963) The longitudinal orientation of the larval honeybees (Apis mellifera) in their cells. Can. J. Zool. 41:717-723.