Nestmate recognition cues in laboratory and field colonies ofSolenopsis invicta buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
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- Obin, M.S. J Chem Ecol (1986) 12: 1965. doi:10.1007/BF01041858
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Laboratory-rearedSolenopsis invicta workers were tested for the ability to discriminate nestmates from nonnestmate conspecifics. Postcontact aggressive response to workers from local field colonies was significantly greater than the response to lab-reared workers, even when the latter were selected from colonies originating hundreds of miles away. Behavioral observations support the conclusion that lab-reared ants were less distinctive than field-collected ants with respect to recognition cues detectable on the cuticle. Potential environmental factors affecting colony odor are discussed. In addition, gas-liquid Chromatographic and statistical analyses of the majorS. invicta cuticular hydrocarbons indicate that cuticular hydrocarbon pattern was a poor predictor of laboratory colony response to field colony workers.