Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 12, pp 2721-2727

First online:

The Venom Alkaloids from Some African Monomorium Species

  • T. H. JonesAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Virginia Military Institute Email author 
  • , V. E. ZottigAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Virginia Military Institute
  • , H. G. RobertsonAffiliated withSouth African Museum
  • , R. R. SnellingAffiliated withLos Angeles County Museum of Natural History

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A comparative analysis of the venom alkaloids of 13 species of ants in the genus Monomorium collected in Africa was undertaken. Ants were collected in Kenya and South Africa. Most species produced 2,5-dialkylpyrrolidines and some of their analogous 1-pyrrolines. No alkaloids were detected in two species, M. robustior and M. macrops. Additionally, a novel 2-alkyl-1-pyrroline, whose structure was established by synthesis, was detected in M. notulum. This compound and others like it may serve as biosynthetic precursors for the formation of the 2,5-dialkylpyrrolidines found in many Myrmicine ant species.

Monomorium spp. Hymenoptera Formicidae 2,5-dialkylpyrrolidines pyrrolines ant venom alkaloids chemotaxonomy