Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 473–490 | Cite as

Solid-Phase Microextraction and Cuticular Hydrocarbon Differences Related to Reproductive Activity in Queenless Ant Dinoponera quadriceps

  • Thibaud Monnin
  • Christian Malosse
  • Christian Peeters


We extracted the cuticular hydrocarbons from live Dinoponera quadriceps ants (10 colonies collected from Brazil) with the solventless solid-phase microextraction (SPME) technique. Gas chromatography of the SPME samples (N = 233 measurements) compared with pentane extracts (N = 10) resulted in similar profiles. Eighty-one compounds belonging to the main long-chain hydrocarbon families were identified by GC-MS. There is no morphologically specialized queen in D. quadriceps and only one aggressively dominant worker (alpha) mates and reproduces in each colony. The alpha ant (N = 26 individuals) always yielded higher amounts and percentages of 9-hentriacontene (9-C31 : 1) than her sterile nestmates (N = 47). Since SPME is not destructive, it allowed for the repeated extraction of the same individuals, demonstrating that the alpha ant (virgin or mated) always had higher levels of 9-hentriacontene. This difference appears related to ovarian activity and may function as a signal of the alpha's dominance status.

Ant Ponerinae reproduction dominance cuticular hydrocarbons solid-phase microextraction 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thibaud Monnin
    • 1
  • Christian Malosse
    • 2
  • Christian Peeters
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS URA 667Laboratoire d'Ethologie Expérimentale et Comparée, UniversitéVilletaneuseFrance
  2. 2.INRAUnité de Phytopharmacie et Médiateurs ChimiquesVersailles cedexFrance

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