, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 67-73

Trail and recruitment pheromones in Camponotus socius (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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Summary.

Worker ants of Camponotus socius employ multicomponent signals during group recruitment to food sources and nest emigrations. The chemical signals consist of trail orientation pheromones that originate from the hindgut. Two components that elicit trail orientation behavior were identified: (2S,4R,5S)-2,4-dimethyl-5-hexanolide and 2,3-dihydro-3,5-dihydroxy-6-methylpyran-4-one. Although both compounds release trail following behavior, in choice tests the former compound is preferred significantly. The major recruitment signal appears to be formic acid discharged from the poison gland. Compounds identified in the Dufour gland secretions do not seem to be involved in the recruitment process.

Received 9 August 2000; accepted 23 November 2000