Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 1–13

Agonistic Behavior of the Leaf-Cutting Ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Elicited by Caryophyllene

  • R. D. North
  • P. E. Howse
  • C. W. Jackson
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007749723868

Cite this article as:
North, R.D., Howse, P.E. & Jackson, C.W. Journal of Insect Behavior (2000) 13: 1. doi:10.1023/A:1007749723868

Abstract

Caryophyllene is shown to evoke agonistic behavior among nestmates of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa. Laboratory colonies were presented with caryophyllene on an acceptable bait. The behavioral responses observed included repellency, alarm, self-grooming, and arrestant behavior, followed by fighting. When caryophyllene was presented to the workers on inert filter paper fighting did not take place, but the other behaviors were observed. Individual workers smeared with caryophyllene produce an alarm response in nestmates. Caryophyllene produces the strongest reaction in workers that were within 2.5 cm of the source and a variation in sensitivity to caryophyllene appears to exist in different subcastes, with soldiers being the least sensitive. The behavior of the workers to caryophyllene was quantified from video recordings.

caryophyllene Atta sexdens agonistic behavior leaf-cutting ants terpene 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. D. North
    • 1
  • P. E. Howse
    • 1
  • C. W. Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biodiversity and Ecology, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonU.K.