Advertisement

Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 195–217 | Cite as

Coordination of Raiding and Emigration in the Ponerine Army Ant Leptogenys distinguenda (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae): A Signal Analysis

  • V. Witte
  • U. Maschwitz
Article

Abstract

Several glandular sources of trail pheromones have been discovered in army ants in general. Nevertheless, at present the understanding of the highly coordinated behavior of these ants is far from complete. The importance of trail pheromone communication for the coordination of raids and emigrations in the ponerine army ant Leptogenys distinguenda was examined, and its ecological function is discussed. The secretions of at least two glands organize the swarming activities of L. distinguenda. The pygidial gland is the source of an orientation pheromone holding the group of raiding workers together. The same pheromone guides emigrations to new nest sites. In addition, the poison sac contains two further components: one with a weak orientation effect and another which produces strong, but short-term attraction and excitement. The latter component is important in prey recruitment and characterizes raid trails. This highly volatile recruitment pheromone allows the extreme swarm dynamic characteristic of this species. Emigration trails lack the poison gland secretion. Due to their different chemical compositions, the ants are thus able to distinguish between raid and emigration trails. Nest emigration is not induced chemically, but mechanically, by the jerking movements of stimulating workers.

Ponerinae Leptogenys distinguenda trail pheromones coordination raiding emigration 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Beckers, R., Deneubourg, J. L., Goss, S., and Pasteels, J. M. (1990). Collective decision making through food recruitement. Insectes Soc. 37: 258–267.Google Scholar
  2. Billen, J. (1992). Origin of the trail pheromone in Ecitoninae:Abehavioural and morphological examination. In Billen, J. (ed.), Biology and Evolution of Social Insects, Leuven University Press, Leuven, pp. 203–209.Google Scholar
  3. Billen, J., and Gobin, B. (1996). Trail following in army ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Netherlands J. Zool. 46(3- 4): 272–280.Google Scholar
  4. Blum, M. S., and Portocarrero, C. A. (1964). Chemical releasers of social behavior. IV. The hindgut as the source of the odor trail pheromone in the Neotropical army ant genus Eciton. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 57: 793–794.Google Scholar
  5. Bonabeau, E. (1997). Flexibility at the edge of chaos: A clear example from foraging in ants. Acta Biotheor. 45: 29–50.Google Scholar
  6. Bonabeau, E., Theraulaz, G., and Deneubourg, J. L. (1998). Group and mass recruitment in ant colonies: The influence of contact rates. J. Theor. Biol. 195: 157–166.Google Scholar
  7. Chadab, R., and Rettenmeyer, C.W. (1975). Mass recruitment by army ants. Science 188: 1124–1125.Google Scholar
  8. de Biseau, J. C., Deneubourg, J. L., and Pasteels, J.M. (1992). Mechanisms of food recruitment in the ant Myrmica sabuleti: An experimental and theoretical approach. In Billen, J. (ed.), Biology and Evolution of Social Insects, Leuven University Press, Leuven, pp. 359–367.Google Scholar
  9. Deneubourg, J. L., and Goss, S. (1989). Collective patterns and decision-making. Ethol. Ecol. Evol. 1: 295–311.Google Scholar
  10. Deneubourg, J. L., Goss, S., Franks, N., and Pasteels, J. M. (1989). The blind leading the blind: Modeling chemically mediated army ant raid patterns. J. Insect Behav. 2: 719–725.Google Scholar
  11. Gotwald, W. H., Jr. (1995). Army Ants: The Biology of Social Predation, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
  12. Hőlldobler, B., and Engel, H. (1978). Tergal and sternal glands in ants. Psyche 85: 285–330.Google Scholar
  13. Hőlldobler, B., and Wilson, E. O. (1990). The Ants, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  14. Jessen, K., Maschwitz, U., and Hahn, M. (1979a). Neue Abdominaldrüsen bei Ameisen I. Ponerini (Formicidae: Ponerinae). Zoomorphologie 94: 49–66.Google Scholar
  15. Jessen, K., Maschwitz, U., and Hahn, M. (1979b). Neue Abdominaldrüsen bei Ameisen I. Ponerini (Formicidae: Ponerinae). Zoomorphologie 94: 49–66.Google Scholar
  16. Maschwitz U., and Mühlenberg, M. (1975). Zur Jagdstrategie einiger orientalischer Leptogenys-Arten (Formicidae: Ponerinae). Oecologia 20: 65–83.Google Scholar
  17. Maschwitz, U., and Schönegge, P. (1983). Forage communication, nest moving recruitment, and prey specialization in the oriental ponerine Leptogenys chinensis. Oecologia 57: 175–182.Google Scholar
  18. Maschwitz, U., Steghaus-Kovac, S., Gaube, R., and Hänel, H. (1987). Eine Treiberameise in der Unterfamilie Ponerinae: Erste Untersuchungen zur Biologie von Leptogenys sp. 1 nahe L. mutabilis. IUSSI, 11. Tag. Deutschspr. Sekt., Bayreuth, p. 24.Google Scholar
  19. Maschwitz, U., Steghaus-Kovac, S., Gaube, R., and Hänel, H. (1989). A South East Asian ponerine ant of the genus Leptogenys (Hym., Form.) with army ant life habits. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 24: 305–316.Google Scholar
  20. Moffett, M.W. (1987). Sociobiology of the Ants of the Genus Pheidologeton, Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  21. Oldham, N. J., Morgan, E. D., Gobin, B., and Billen, J. (1994). First identification of a trail pheromone of an army ant (Aenictus species). Experientia 50: 763–765.Google Scholar
  22. Parry, K., and Morgan, E. D. (1979). Pheromones of ants: A review. Physiol. Entomol. 4: 161–189.Google Scholar
  23. Steghaus-Kovac, S. (1994). Wanderjäger im Regenwald—Lebensstrategien im Vergleich. Őkologie und Verhalten süudostasiatischer Ameisenarten der Gattung Leptogenys (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae), Dissertation, J. W. Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main.Google Scholar
  24. Topoff, H., Mirenda, J., Droual, R., and Herrick, S. (1980). Behavioural ecology of mass recruitment in the army ant Neivamyrmex nigrescens. Anim. Behav. 28: 779–789.Google Scholar
  25. Torgerson, R. L., and Akre, R. D. (1970). The persistence of army ant chemical trails and their significance in the ecitonine-ecitophile association (Formicidae: Ecitonini). Melanderia 5: 1–28.Google Scholar
  26. Watkins, J. F. (1964). Laboratory experiments on the trail following of army ants of the genus Neivamyrmex (Formicidae: Dorylinae). J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 37: 22–28.Google Scholar
  27. Wilson, E. O. (1971). The Insect Societies, Belknap Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  28. Witte, V. (2001). Organisation und Steuerung desTreiberameisenverhaltens bei Südostasiatischen Ponerinen der Gattung Leptogenys, Dissertation, J.W. Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt/Main (published on WWW).Google Scholar
  29. Witte, V., and Maschwitz, U. (2000). Raiding and emigration dynamics in the ponerine army ant Leptogenys distinguenda (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insectes Soc. 47: 76–83.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell University, Baker LaboratoryIthaca
  2. 2.Zoologisches InstitutJ. W. Goethe-Universität, Siesmayerstrasse 70Frankfurt am MainGermany

Personalised recommendations