Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 709–717 | Cite as

Postpharyngeal gland secretion as a modifier of aggressive behavior in the myrmicine antManica rubida

  • Abraham Hefetz
  • Christine Errard
  • Alice Chambris
  • Alain Le Negrate


The role of postpharyngeal gland secretion in nestmate recognition was tested inManica rubida. Behavioral tests comprised two consecutive encounters between five ants and their color-marked nestmate. The first encounter utilized an untreated ant constituting a control, whereas in the second encounter the marked ant was treated with postpharyngeal gland exudate. Scoring was done using an aggression index obtained by direct observation and an agitation index deduced from a frame-by-frame analysis of videotapes of the various tests. When the glandular secretion originated from an alien ant, the ants became very agitated and were aggressive toward their nestmate. When the exudate originated from a nestmate, the ants generally remained calm, although their rates of self-grooming increased.

Key Words

postpharyngeal gland nestmate recognition aggressive behavior agitation index Manica rubida Formicidae 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abraham Hefetz
    • 1
  • Christine Errard
    • 1
  • Alice Chambris
    • 1
  • Alain Le Negrate
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'Ethologie Experimentale et ComparéeUniversité Paris Nord, CNRSVilletaneuseFrance

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