Dufour gland secretion in the harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex
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Dufour gland secretions of the harvester ants Pogonomyrmex barbatus, P. rugosus and P. maricopa were investigated. The glandular blends exhibit species specific patterns, but more importantly, based on indiviual profiles of Dufour gland contents of colony members it is possible to separate the colonies from each other in each species. It is possible that these collective colony specific cues serve as longer lasting trunk route markers. Behavioral tests demonstrate that workers of P. rugosus prefer homing routes marked by members of their own colony to routes marked by a foreign conspecific colony.
Key words.Communication multicomponent signals trunk routes colony specific cues orientation
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