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