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Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 87, Issue 9, pp 412–416 | Cite as

“You are what you eat”: Diet modifies cuticular hydrocarbons and nestmate recognition in the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile

  • D. Liang
  • J. Silverman
SHORT COMMUNICATION

Abstract

 Nestmate recognition plays a key role in the behavior and evolution of social insects. We demonstrated that hydrocarbons are the chemical cues used in Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, nestmate recognition, and that these hydrocarbons can be acquired from insect prey. Consequently, Argentine ant cuticular hydrocarbon patterns reveal the same hydrocarbons present in their diet. Diet alters both the recognition cues present on the cuticular surface and the response of nestmates to this new colony odor, resulting in aggression between former nestmates reared on different insect prey.

Keywords

Cuticular Hydrocarbon Hexane Fraction Nestmate Recognition Insect Prey Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profile 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Liang
    • 1
  • J. Silverman
    • 1
  1. 1.Clorox Technical Center, , USA e-mail: jules_silverman@ncsu.edu Tel.: +1-919-5132468 Fax: +1-919-5157746US

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