Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 105-111

First online:

Dependence of necrophoric response to oleic acid on social context in the ant,Pogonomyrmex badius

  • Deborah M. GordonAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Duke University

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The response of the southern harvester ant,Pogonomyrmex badius, to oleic acid was found to depend on social context. Social context was specified as the number of ants engaging in each of five categories of behavior. When a large percentage of the colony is doing midden work or nest maintenance, papers treated with oleic acid are taken to the midden, as previously reported. However, when a large percentage of the colony is foraging or convening, treated papers are taken into the nest as if they were food items.

Key words

Pogonomyrmex badius Hymenoptera Formicidae oleic acid social context midden pheromone harvester ant necrophoric