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Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 466–481 | Cite as

Nestmate recognition and territorial behaviour in the antOdontomachus bauri emery (Formicidae: Ponerinae)

  • K. Jaffe
  • M. Marcuse
Article

Summary

Odontomachus bauri workers recognize conspecifics from other colonies and ants from different species as aliens. Colony specific recognition is based on endogenous odours, present in the different body parts. The chemicals responsible for these odours are volatiles, insoluble in water and soluble in CH2Cl2. No influence of the environment on the recognition signals could be detected. Evidence of intercolony differences in the relative proportions of the different volatile substances of cephalic and abdominal pheromones are presented. Thus, it is postulated that nestmate recognition is based on relative proportions of volatiles produced by the ant in different parts of the body.

On the other hand, evidence of territorial defence is presented. Territorial pheromones, in case they exist in this species, are not necessary for recognition of territories, as is the case in other ant species. The possible relationship between nestmate recognition systems and territorial behaviour is discussed and an evolutionary hypothesis of their development is presented.

Keywords

CH2Cl2 Body Part Proportion Relative Recognition System Specific Recognition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Reconnaissance des compagnons du nid et comportement territorial chez la fourmi Odontomachus bauri Emery (Formicidae: Ponerinae)

Resume

Les ouvrières chezOdontomachus bauri reconnaissent les homospécifiques d'autres colonies et les fourmis d'espèces différentes comme étant étrangères. La reconnaissance spécifique de la colonie est basée sur la présence d'odeurs endogènes dans les différentes parties du corps. Les substances responsables de ces odeurs sont volatiles, insolubles dans l'eau et solubles dans CH2Cl2. On n'a pas pu détecter une influence du milieu sur le système de reconnaissance. On démontre l'existence de différences dans les proportions relatives des substances volatiles des phéromones céphaliques et abdominales entre les colonies. On propose done que la reconnaissance des compagnons du nid est basée sur quelques différences dans les proportions relatives des substances volatiles produites dans les différentes parties du corps.

On présente aussi des preuves de défense territoriale. Contrairement à ce que l'on trouve chez d'autres espèces, le marquage chimique du territoire n'est pas nécessaire pour la reconnaissance du territoire. Finalement, on analyse la possibilité d'une relation entre les systèmes de reconnaissance des compagnons du nid et le comportement territorial, et on présente une hypothèse évolutive sur leurs développements.

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Copyright information

© Masson 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Jaffe
    • 1
  • M. Marcuse
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología de OrganismosUniversidad Simón BolivarCaracasVenezuela

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