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Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 1207–1219 | Cite as

Chemical communication in the dacetine antDaceton armigerum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • Bert Hölldobler
  • Jacqueline M. Palmer
  • Mark W. Moffett
Article

Abstract

Contrary to previous assumptions,Daceton armigerum, the largest ant in the myrmicine tribe Dacetini, employs trail communication. We identified two anatomical sources of trail pheromones: Trails drawn with poison gland contents can last for more than seven days. Trails drawn with the newly discovered sternal glands (in the VIth and VIIth abdominal sternites) are effective but relatively short-lived. In addition, our bioassays revealed that the contents of the mandibular glands elicit alarm behavior, and secretions from the pygidial gland release attraction. When tested with artificial poison gland trails from seven other myrmicine species,Daceton did not exhibit trail following behavior. We confirmed, however, previous findings thatAtta respond toDaceton poison gland trails andSolenopsis followDaceton Dufour's gland trails.

Key words

Ants Dacetini Daceton armigerum Hymenoptera Formicidae poison gland pygidial gland sternal gland mandibular gland trail communication alarm communication 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bert Hölldobler
    • 1
  • Jacqueline M. Palmer
    • 1
  • Mark W. Moffett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridge

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