CHEMOECOLOGY

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 147–151

Predatory behavior and chemical communication in two Metapone species (Hymenoptera:Formicidae)

  • Bert Hölldobler
  • Neil J. Oldham
  • Gary D. Alpert
  • Jürgen Liebig

Summary.

Colonies of two species of Metapone (M. madagascarica, M. new species.) were collected in Madagascar and established in laboratory nests. It could be demonstrated that both species are specialist predators of termites (Cryptotermes kirbyi). During hunting the ants sting the termites and thereby paralyze and preserve the prey alive. In this way prey can be stored in the ant nest for extended periods. During foraging and colony emigrations the ants lay chemical trails with poison gland secretions. Among the seven compounds identified in the venom only methyl pyrrole-2-carboxylate elicits trail following behavior in both Metapone species.

Key words. Termite predation — prey storage — poison gland — trail pheromone — pyrrole derivative 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bert Hölldobler
    • 1
  • Neil J. Oldham
    • 2
  • Gary D. Alpert
    • 3
  • Jürgen Liebig
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl Verhaltensphysiologie und Soziobiologie (Zoologie II), Biozentrum, Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, GermanyDE
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Ökologie, Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 10, D-07745 Jena, GermanyDE
  3. 3.Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Mass 02138, USAUS

Personalised recommendations