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Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 67–72 | Cite as

Nestmate recognition and the genetic relatedness of nests in the ant Formica pratensis

  • M. Beye
  • P. Neumann
  • M. Chapuisat
  • P. Pamilo
  • R. F. A. Moritz
Article

Abstract

Genetic relatedness of the mound-building ant Formica pratensis was determined by means of microsatellite DNA polymorphism, and its impact on nestmate recognition was tested in a population in Southern Sweden (Oeland). Recognition between nests was measured by testing aggression levels between single pairs of workers. The genetic distances of nests (Nei's genetic distance) and the spatial distance of nests were correlated and both showed a strong relation to the aggression behavior. Multiple regression analysis revealed a stronger impact of genetic relatedness rather than spatial distances on aggression behavior. Neighbouring nests were more closely related than distant nests, which may reflect budding as a possible spreading mechanism. The genetic distance data showed that nestmate recognition was strongly genetically influenced in F. pratensis.

Key words Nestmate recognition Kin recognition DNA fingerprinting Aggression Formica Relatedness 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Beye
    • 1
  • P. Neumann
    • 1
  • M. Chapuisat
    • 2
  • P. Pamilo
    • 3
  • R. F. A. Moritz
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Ökologie und Biologie, Technische Universität Berlin, Franklinstrasse 28/29, D-10587 Berlin, Germany e-mail: beye0736@mailszrz.zrz.tu-berlin.de, Tel.: (49)(30)314 73318, Fax: (49)(30)314 73187DE
  2. 2.Museum of Zoology, P.O. Box 448, CH-1000 Lausanne 17, SwitzerlandCH
  3. 3.Department of Genetics, Uppsala University, Box 7003, S-75007 Uppsala, SwedenSE

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